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Issue #19, August 2018

Engineering, Construction & Maintenance

RENEWABLES: ALL BOOM, NO BUST

ACHIEVING ISO 55001

CERTIFICATION WITH EVOENERGY

ROCH CHEROUX OF SA WATER

TALKS SUSTAINABILITY IN WATER OPERATIONS WATER

SEWER

ELECTRICITY

GAS


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Issue #19, August 2018

UTILITY MAGAZINE

welcome

RENEWABLES: ALL BOOM, NO BUST AUGUST 2018

ACHIEVING ISO 55001

FROM THE

CERTIFICATION WITH EVOENERGY

ROCH CHEROUX OF SA WATER

TALKS SUSTAINABILITY IN WATER OPERATIONS WATER

SEWER

ELECTRICITY

GAS

EDITOR

Cover image highlights our feature on water treatment.

7,249 1 October 2017 - 31 March 2018

Published by

Monkey Media Enterprises ABN: 36 426 734 954 PO Box 1763 Preston South VIC 3072 P: (03) 9988 4950 monkeymedia.com.au info@monkeymedia.com.au utilitymagazine.com.au info@utilitymagazine.com.au ISSN: 2203-2797 Publisher Chris Bland Editor Charlotte Pordage Managing Editor Laura Harvey Senior Associate Editor Jessica Dickers Associate Editor Lauren Cella Journalists Elisa Iannunzio Lauren Butler Erin Foster Daniel Johnson Marketing Associate Sam Penny Business Development Manager Rima Munafo Marketing Assistant Helena Brace Production and Customer Service Titian Bartlau Senior Designer Alejandro Molano Designer Jacqui Abela

August 2018

ISSUE 19

Engineering, Construction & Maintenance

G

lobal efforts to overcome the challenges of providing water and energy to an everexpanding population have led to a growing international focus on the waterenergy nexus, a term for describing the complex interdependent relationship of energy and water systems. As a vital component of the Australian economy and livelihood, the water sector plays an important role in providing water supply and treatment to residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors. Because of the significant energy use within the sector, considerable opportunities exist for renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives. SA Water is one of South Australia’s largest electricity users and is one of the many water utilities around Australia turning to renewable energy to reduce costs and help guarantee supply. In this edition of Utility, Chief Executive, Roch Cheroux, talks about how SA Water is scaling up its renewable energy generation as part of its ambitious goal to achieve zero net electricity costs from 2020, reducing demand on the grid and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. It’s no surprise then that the Clean Energy Council has reported an unprecedented level of industry activity, with 6532MW of new large-scale renewable generation firmly announced between 2016 and January 2018. In the same month, the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) announced that there were enough projects at a sufficiently advanced stage to meet the large-scale Renewable Energy Target (RET). You can find out more about the current state of the Australian clean energy sector and the latest key figures and statistics in our breakdown of the Clean Energy Council’s annual Clean Energy Australia Report, released in May 2018.

The increasing demand for consumption of water and energy also means many utilities are facing challenges around ensuring a reliable, cost-effective and secure supply of services to their customers. The challenges of aging infrastructure and stringent regulatory benchmarks require utilities to be more strategic with their asset management plans than ever before. In order to increase operational efficiency and ensure reliability of services at the lowest possible cost to their customers, utilities must allow data to drive their decisions and take advantage of new technologies that can enhance or improve their existing asset management systems. Asset management is also the theme of Utility’s next event, Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure, which is being held from 12-13 September in Sydney. The two-day conference will explore practical applications that can improve the way assets are managed, covering topics such as predictive maintenance, the impact of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things on Australian assets, the role of ISO 55000, as well as many more. If you’re involved in asset management for a utility or other critical infrastructure provider and would like to attend, then you can register at assetmanagementevent.com.au. You’ll be able to find this edition of the magazine at this event, as well as at WIOA Bendigo, the Oceania Damage Prevention Conference and All-Energy Australia – I hope to see as many of you as possible at these events and look forward to discussing the evolving utility landscape. Charlotte Pordage Editor UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

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Bulk Liquid Transport


CONTENTS

38

WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT A bold pathway to sustainability............................ 16 Upgrading a water treatment plant to ensure optimal water quality........................................... 22 New automated water treatment system a win for water conservation................................. 25 WIOA Operators of the Year........ 26 Filtec adds equipment sales and service to its Australian project business........................... 30

Automated microbial detection system receives Australian accreditation................................. 32 Utilising sunlight for new wastewater treatment technology.................................... 34 Ensuring a safe environment for all...................... 36 Optimising wastewater reuse through advanced treatment processes...................................... 38 Improving sludge management in water treatment........................... 40

42

STORMWATER Pioneering stormwater harvesting for potable use in Australia......... 42 Achieving more precise measurements with 80GHz radar level transmitters......................... 46 IoT AND SCADA LPWAN technology extends the reach of SCADA for sewerage networks....................................... 48 Integrating IoT into operations to maximise efficiency..................... 50 Transforming the customer experience against a backdrop of change.......................................... 52

90 72 76

RENEWABLES Record-breaking renewables: a year in review............................ 84

92

Connecting new energy sources to the grid....................... 88 Preparation the key to developing a successful renewable energy project........... 90

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96

GAS PIPELINES Jemena and Senex fast-track domestic gas................ 92

UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

WASTE MANAGEMENT Trial underway to harness the power of pee........................... 94 Making waste count.................... 96

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ASSET MANAGEMENT Asset management driving Sydney Water’s future................. 56 Smart digital solutions: beyond energy savings............... 60

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TRENCHLESS TECHNOLOGY Unitywater’s award-winning horizontal directional drill........... 72 Thinking strategically about excavation equipment................. 76

ISSUE 19

August 2018

78

DAMAGE PREVENTION Dial Before You Dig’s Infrastructure Damage Reporting System......... 78 Sydney construction company leads with breakthrough quotation website........................ 80

Smarter pipes, longer life........... 62 DRAIN CLEANING Cleaning public spaces…keeping it legal........................................... 82

Future focused innovation: how GIS technology saved a billion litres of water................. 64 A journey into ISO 55001 certification................................... 66 Asset management in-depth: understanding the battle against corrosion......................... 68

102

In each issue Welcome from the Editor................................ 1 A word from Energy Networks Australia ���� 6 98

News briefs...................................................... 8 Advertisers’ index....................................... 104

WOMEN IN UTILITIES

Editorial schedule....................................... 104

Rebecca Sayles............................ 98 UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

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A WORD FROM ENERGY NETWORKS AUSTRALIA ANDREW DILLON CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER – ENERGY NETWORKS AUSTRALIA

Critical thought, strategic planning, imagination and vision are central to the operation of any successful venture — especially when that venture is the transformation and modernisation of Australia’s complex energy system.

I

t’s in this essence that “Vision Critical” was the theme at Energy Networks Australia’s biennial conference, Energy Networks 2018, which took place from 5 – 7 June in Sydney. The event attracted a record number of more than 900 delegates who joined us over two days. Even if we go back just a couple of decades, it is hard to imagine anyone in our sector could have foreseen the climate in which we are operating today. At the conference, under the guidance of leaders in our field, we examined where we are, how we got here and how we can best map the terrain ahead to continue to deliver for our customers. While we hear plenty of talk about threats to the energy industry, and it is imperative to prepare for those possibilities, our conference also considered the myriad of positive opportunities. I see opportunities right across the network sector, but if there’s one thing we must learn from the rise of Uber and Airbnb, it’s that complacency is a killer when it comes to technology disruption. We have to innovate and collaborate to deliver the services our customers want and need today and into the future. Delivering the opening address at the conference, NSW Minister for Energy and Utilities, Don Harwin, launched a new NSW transmission strategy designed to connect renewable energy to the state’s electricity grid in a timeframe shorter than the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) approvals process. The new strategy supports the development of three major renewable energy zones across NSW, with the objective of providing low cost, competitive generation. Until now, our distribution networks have done a remarkable job as a sponge, soaking up all this solar generation and managing the growing two-way flows. But parts of our networks already can’t handle any more solar and as many of the early adopters also install batteries, we could have a real problem on our hands managing the security and reliability of the energy system. It’s with this challenge in mind that Energy Networks Australia recently released a joint consultation paper with AEMO on how we develop open energy networks to manage these changes and deliver value for those who have solar and storage, and those who don’t. We have to get this right and we need and encourage participation in this consultation

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UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

to help us find the way to make “plug and play” a reality. The importance of lowering prices for consumers was the focus of the Federal Energy and Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg, who also addressed the conference. He said the government was unapologetically focused on driving energy prices down and to produce better outcomes for consumers. Innovation and disruption visionary, and former Premier of Tasmania, David Bartlett, delivered the conference’s “Vision Critical” address. He encouraged networks to better understand energy consumers to be able to predict behaviours and patterns early in order to anticipate market opportunity, and talked about the need for our sector to design individual, tailored, flexible and responsive energy solutions that integrate technological advances. Stepping back, it’s clear we are living in the most momentous period of innovation the energy sector has seen since the days of Edison, Tesla and Westinghouse. These challenges will require just as much fresh thinking from policy makers as from energy network businesses themselves. The Energy Networks 2018 program was designed to reflect the priorities of Australia’s electricity transmission and distribution businesses, gas distribution businesses and our key stakeholders, especially customers. Our collective investment in efficient infrastructure, embedded generation, emerging technologies, demand response and consumer engagement are combining to deliver more agile networks. None of this is possible without recalibrating the relationship between networks and customers based on meaningful engagement and services that reflect their needs. Equally, none of this is possible without investor confidence in a stable, incentive-based regulatory framework, as consumers have a direct interest in the sector being seen as low risk, and hence able to access low-cost capital. Energy Networks 2018 provided a valuable platform and it was a privilege to be able to facilitate the robust and forward-thinking discussions, reflecting the quality and depth of the conference program. We have set a high benchmark and Energy Networks Australia thanks all our speakers, delegates, sponsors and exhibitors. We look forward to coming together in Brisbane in two years for Energy Networks 2020 to continue the journey.

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NEWS

UTILITY MAGAZINE’S NEW EDITOR C harlotte Pordage has been appointed the new editor of Utility magazine. Charlotte has been with Monkey Media since 2017 and has a wealth of writing and publishing experience in Australia and the UK that she will bring to her new role as Utility editor. Since Charlotte joined the Monkey Media team, she has dived straight into the most pressing issues in the utility industry, working across the print publication, website, email newsletters and events. She has already met many of you at industry events including recently at OzWater and WIOA. Charlotte was instrumental in the success of Digital Utilities 2018, a two-day conference and exhibition that ran from 19-20 April in Melbourne. Charlotte oversaw the event and the inaugural Digital Utility Awards which saw the sector come together to recognise the best digital innovations, technology and processes. Delegates noted the high-quality execution of the awards night and conference, which both explored the momentous impacts of digital technologies on the industry.

Prior to Utility, Charlotte was the editor of a local Melbourne newspaper and has also worked in a variety of journalism roles including as a film festival digital communications coordinator and contributor to online arts publications. Charlotte said she is excited to continue engaging with the utility sector and producing high-quality magazines and events. "Utilities provide such an essential service and I enjoy finding out about the latest technologies and advancements in the sector and then sharing this with our readers. With the industry experiencing so much change, there's always plenty to talk about, which keeps me busy! "I look forward to getting to know the utility community better and continuing to provide our readers with highquality, engaging content. I'm also excited about growing and developing our Digital Utilities conference and awards, and ensuring it becomes a permanent fixture in the utility industry events calendar." Former editor Chris Bland will remain as Utility publisher.

Charlotte welcomes any thoughts or feedback on Utility magazine and can be reached at charlotte.pordage@monkeymedia.com.au.

KANGAROO ISLAND TO BE POWERED BY SA ELECTRICITY

A

n undersea power cable project to connect Kangaroo Island to the SA electricity distribution network is expected to be completed in October 2018. The 20,000 kVA/33,000 Volt cable is 15km long and manufactured as one continuous length without any joints. This is the longest continuous undersea cable to be installed in Australia. SA Power Networks’ General Manager of Networks, Mark Vincent, said the new cable has doubled the capacity of the existing cable.

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“The new supply will provide well in excess of anticipated peak demand growth on the island over the next 30 years,” Mr Vincent said. “The new cable also has fibre optic cables for protection and monitoring of the cable, and surplus fibre optic cables will be offered to telecommunication companies to provide additional telephone and internet services to the island. “We’re keeping the existing 10,000 kVA/33,000 Volt cable while it is serviceable to act as a backup supply to the island and maintain the

backup power station at Kingscote.” Cable laying operations took place between 1 and 9 June 2018, and involved more than 100 ship crew, divers, support boats and project personnel working between Fisheries Beach on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula near Cape Jervis, and Cuttlefish Bay on Kangaroo Island. Kangaroo Island is the third largest island off the coast of Australia, situated 15km off the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia and has a population of about 4500 people.


NEWS

FORMER LANDFILL REMOVED BY HUNTER WATER

E

ight thousand tonnes of former landfill that was uncovered at Stockton Beach after a large swell in January is now being systematically removed by Hunter Water. A specialist contractor, licenced to dispose of the material containing friable asbestos, began work at the site. The work will involve excavators loading the material onto trucks and transporting it to the Summerhill Waste Management Centre for disposal. It is expected to take approximately three weeks to complete. Due to the inherent hazards of disturbing friable asbestos, workers will be wearing full personal

protective equipment (PPE) for their safety. An occupational hygienist will be on-site during the removal of the waste, and air monitoring and dust suppression will also be carried out. Hunter Water consulted with a range of agencies and carried out initial testing before any work took place to ensure the landfill material was treated safely and appropriately. While stockpiled on the site, the material has been covered with a specialist fabric and regularly inspected to ensure there is no risk to public health or the environment.

NETWORK SERVICES UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

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NEWS

FRANK TUDOR

APPOINTED

NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR OF JEMENA

M

anaging Director of Jemena, Paul Adams, has announced his retirement and the appointment of his successor, a former CEO of a major energy

utility. Frank Tudor, who was until recently, CEO of Horizon Power in Western Australia, will take up the role of Managing Director at Jemena. Mr Adams will continue in the role until mid-October after which he will transition into a Strategic Advisory role in support of Jemena’s parent company SGSPAA. SGSPAA Chairman, Ruan Qiantu, thanked Mr Adams for his contribution to Jemena and the SGSPAA group as MD over the last decade. “Paul’s many achievements as MD since the establishment of Jemena include overseeing the substantial

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build, own, and operate the $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline,” Mr Ruan said. Mr Ruan said Frank Tudor was selected as the new Managing Director following an exhaustive recruitment process. “We are excited to appoint Frank as the new MD of Jemena. Frank brings with him a deep understanding of the energy industry and is a passionate advocate for energy customers.” Horizon Power Chairman, Stephen Edwell, said Mr Tudor’s new appointment was a testament to his very significant contribution to Horizon Power over an extended period. “Frank deserves commendation for his services to the business. Horizon Power has significantly improved its service delivery, is very well respected by its customers, and has a committed and highly skilled team.” Mr Ruan said Mr Tudor will bring a wealth of experience to Jemena, having held senior executive roles over the last 30 years in the European, Asian and Australian oil, gas and power industries with BP, Woodside and most recently as CEO of Horizon Power. “I am confident that under Frank’s leadership, Jemena will be at the forefront of our rapidly changing sector, and will continue to provide cost effective, reliable and sustainable energy solutions to its customers.” Mr Edwell said the Horizon Power Board will appoint an interim CEO and will implement a process to appoint a suitably qualified and experienced replacement. Mr Tudor said he was immensely grateful to the Minister for Energy, Ben Wyatt, the Board, his senior executive colleagues and, most importantly, the extended Horizon Power team across regional Western Australia for their guidance and support over the past eight years. “I have been extremely privileged to work for the Government of Western Australia and lead an organisation that has such a commitment to its customers across what is arguably the biggest service area for an energy provider anywhere in the world,” Mr Tudor said. “There is no doubt in my mind that microgrids represent the future of energy in this state presenting a better solution for customers while managing the cost to taxpayers in subsidizing quality regional energy delivery.” Mr Tudor said that, while he had very much enjoyed his time at Horizon Power, after 12 years with the company, he had been considering for some months whether it was time to embrace new challenges.

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NEWS

MACHINE LEARNING AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE INCREASE MELBOURNE WATER’S EFFICIENCY

A

rtificial intelligence and machine learning is being utilised to reduce electricity usage in water treatment operations in Melbourne. Winneke treatment plant is one of the major water treatment sites for Melbourne’s potable drinking water. On average, approximately 350ML of water moves through the plant every day before being distributed to millions of homes and businesses around the city. The plant has a daily targeted flow rate for water production in order to ensure Melbourne has the right amount

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UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

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of drinking water at all times. The target is different every day, meaning different pumps are running at different speeds. In order to ensure these pumps are operated at maximum efficiency while still achieving the required flow rate, Melbourne Water is using a custom developed artificial intelligence (AI) program which mines historical pump operational data to ‘learn’ the most efficient pump configuration at any given time. Melbourne Water Automation Team Leader, Russell Riding, said the AI system, developed in-house using the Python platform, was powerful enough to consider a wide range of factors in its decision making. “The Python program is able to utilise our historical data to determine the most energy efficient combinations of pumps and, the associated speeds to run them at, in order to achieve the necessary flow rate,” Mr Riding said. “Because it was developed by one of our experienced data analysts, it is able to understand a range of factors which are very unique to our system, including reservoir level, available pumps and past performance. “The program even gives us the ability to switch to a special training mode where our operations team can test a wide range of pump combinations which may not

normally be utilised so the program can learn these for future reference. “When in operational mode, the Python program determines optimal pump calibrations and sends them directly to the pump system without any human intervention; the AI determines the best settings and then applies them in real time.” Mr Riding said cyber security was an important consideration when trialling the system. “The AI is stored on a computer which is not connected to the broader Melbourne Water network, or the internet. This is best practice to ensure that cyber security risks are minimised. “The local control system also has rules built into its code to ensure the AI system can only optimise the pump operations within set parameters. This is an important failsafe feature to ensure production can continue if the AI system fails.” The project is expected to reduce Melbourne Water’s pump station energy costs at the Winneke site by around 20 per cent per year, and is being tested at other locations.

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NEWS

NEW SEWER MONITORING TRIAL

TO REDUCE ODOUR A

new sensor-driven wastewater monitoring system is being trialled by Unitywater in collaboration with Israeli wastewater management solution provider Kando. The smart sensors are placed in sewer manholes and can detect changes in sewage quality to give early warning of events in the sewer, such as odour. As soon as they sense a change in conditions, the units send a signal to network controllers who can then respond accordingly. The units are set up to remotely extract sewage samples and track

the source of the pollution as soon as they detect it. This could prevent a major pollution event from causing damage to a sewage treatment plant downstream. The system’s smart cloud-based algorithms provide a 360-degree view of the sewerage network, meaning that Unitywater is now able to gain a complete picture of what is happening in the network at any given moment. Unitywater Executive Manager Customer Delivery, Rob Dowling, said, “For the first time ever, we will be able to see precisely what’s going on inside our sewer pipes as well as closely monitor the condition of those

very pipes, and inform our sewage treatment plants so as to optimise their operation. “That is significant from a customer care perspective primarily because it enables us to minimise one of the unfortunate, unpleasant realities of sewerage services – namely, odour.” Unitywater will place a total of seven units in its network as part of the eightmonth trial. Five of the units will be placed in high trade waste discharge areas, and two will be placed in locations known to experience odour complaints and seawater infiltration.

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WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

A BOLD PATHWAY

SA Water Chief Executive, Roch Cheroux, has 25 years experience in the water industry in design, construction, financing and operating activities in line and executive management positions. Under his leadership, the utility has embarked on an award-winning digital transformation journey and set an ambitious target of zero net electricity costs from 2020.

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WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

TO SUSTAINABILITY P

rior to joining SA Water in July 2016, Mr Cheroux held the position of Chief Executive of SUEZ South East Asia, based in Singapore. Between July 2011 and June 2015, Mr Cheroux was the CEO of SUEZ Degremont in Australia and New Zealand, working out of Sydney. Under his tenure, the group became a market leader in the region. Before joining Degremont, he was Managing Director of United Utilities Australia, based in Adelaide, and was involved in the Riverland water treatment plants (now operated by TRILITY) and the Adelaide Desalination Plant project. He has also had considerable experience in European water utilities, having commenced his career in France and worked for several years as CEO of Estonia’s Tallinn Water, which owns and operates water and sewerage assets in the country’s capital. Mr Cheroux said he was attracted to working at SA Water because of the unique challenges the utility faces. “The role is obviously very interesting. SA Water is a large organisation that provides services for more than 1.6 million people across the entire state. You have a combination of urban water and regional water, with some very, very remote communities.” Mr Cheroux said that he feels privileged to be in a position where he can influence the vision, the strategy and the culture of the organisation. “In 2016, we took some time to look at where we were as an organisation, and listen to our customers, and really understand what they were expecting

UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

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WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

A bold pathway to sustainability

from us. In November of the same year, we launched our new vision, which is World Class Water Services for a Better Life. “This new vision was, for us, the way to focus the organisation on customers. We really wanted everyone to be aware that the only reason we exist is because we’ve got customers. “We’re here to provide an essential service so the challenges come from what our customers want us to do. Obviously their expectations are high, and rightly so. But their expectations are also changing, so tomorrow they will be expecting something different from us. “We have to be very agile and we have to be very flexible to be able to deliver what they’re expecting from us, while at the same time keeping a very clear idea about the purpose of the organisation.” Ensuring staff are engaging with the vision, and also feel supported and valued in their roles, is key to driving innovation within the utility. “Working on the culture has brought a lot of new ideas and innovation into the business. I’ve got some ideas, but there are 1500 people in the organisation that have extremely good ideas, and a lot of the time, much better ideas than me. My role is to make sure they can bring their ideas to the table, and we can make it happen together. That’s really important,” Mr Cheroux said.

USING DIGITAL TOOLS TO IMPROVE OPERATIONS As part of its move towards becoming a purely digital utility, SA Water has developed and rolled out a number of tools to enable field staff to work without paper. This includes a work order app, digital work scheduling and dispatch system, and various digital maps and forms. All field staff can access these tools through a mobile phone or tablet, giving them faster access to data and documents. “Staff can now use their mobile devices to receive work details and inform systems throughout the organisation of the status of a job,” Mr Cheroux said. “If someone is given the job to go and repair a break, for example, then using their mobile device, they can explain where they are, what they’re doing, and what stage they are at. This information will go to our customer care center in real time.” If a customer calls, the team at SA Water’s Customer Care Centre can provide information about when a work crew will arrive on-site, how long a job will take to complete and when the customer will have their mains water supply restored. SA Water has also been working on digitising its assets through its innovative smart water network, which uses acoustic sensors, pressure and flow data, high speed transient pressure sensors, smart meters and water quality sensors to improve water services and network reliability in Adelaide. “When we listen via the music of the network, then we’re able to understand that if the music changes, then it means

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that something is going to happen,” Mr Cheroux said. “We’re able to detect that there’s a small crack in the pipe, which could turn into a leak, and use this information to plan the repair at night so we don’t disrupt traffic and we don’t disrupt the life of our customers. It’s proven to be extremely efficient. That’s the sort of innovation where we’re using digital tools to bring something new to our customers.” The first stage of the smart water network program integrated more than 400 sensors across the Adelaide CBD between April and July 2017. The utility is extending the smart network program to targeted locations in Adelaide’s wider metropolitan area and will also use smart technology to undertake projects in pressure management and non-revenue water management in both urban and regional communities.

ACHIEVING A ZERO COST ENERGY FUTURE SA Water is looking to install 152 megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation and 35 megawatt hours of energy storage over the next two years as part of its ambitious goal to achieve zero net electricity costs from 2020. Distributing generation and storage capacity across approximately 70 of its sites around South Australia is forecast to bring about the zero net outcome, also referred to as Project Zero. Mr Cheroux said neutralising the company’s electricity costs – which reached $55 million for 220 gigawatt hours in 2016-17 – will produce an operational saving to be passed onto customers in keeping with the objectives of the independent regulatory process. “We’re working hard to keep our customers’ water prices as low and stable as possible, and big operational circuit breakers like this are essential to achieving savings and future price reductions,” Mr Cheroux said. “Locating generation behind the meter will improve our resilience to grid interruptions, significantly reduce our network charges and isolate our business from electricity market price volatility, in both the short and long term. “The maturity of solar technology has allowed us to confidently determine how and where it can assume supply for our energy-intensive water treatment and pumping operations, and export to the market to return revenue.” Installing the solar arrays will be SA Water’s first focus, with the selection and acquisition of storage to be informed by a series of thermal, flywheel and battery storage trials currently being progressed with specialist technology partners. “We were already producing electricity with biogas and hydro. Now we need to produce a lot more so we decided to invest in solar panels. As well as the traditional solar panels, we will also have floating solar panels that we can put on our reservoirs,” Mr Cheroux said. “Energy storage is another big part of the project and we’ve got three solutions here. One is using traditional chemical batteries, however batteries have a finite life

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and a set number of cycles. We are testing two other technologies – thermal energy storage, using molten silicon, and flywheels, which are mechanical energy storage. “The third aspect of Project Zero is analytics. We’re producing energy, we’re using energy, but we’ve also got the possibility of managing our loads. For example, pumping when it’s most efficient to pump, when we’ve got plenty of energy or we know that our storage system is full. The timing of our energy use is critical.” Mr Cheroux said that SA Water currently buys its electricity on the spot market, which is unusual for a water utility. “Instead of having a fixed-price contract with a retailer, we buy electricity when it’s cheap, and produce more when it’s expensive because we can resell electricity back to the grid.”

SUSTAINABILITY IN THE WATER INDUSTRY While Project Zero is a key part of reducing SA Water’s electricity operating costs, the utility has already cut more than $3 million from its electricity bills since 2013. Through renewable energy generation, the utility’s Bolivar and Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plants are now 92 and 80 per cent energy self-sufficient respectively. Hydroelectric systems at Hope Valley, Seacliff Park and the

WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

A bold pathway to sustainability

Adelaide Desalination Plant (ADP) supply approximately 7000 megawatt hours per year, equating to 14 per cent of the total electricity produced by SA Water. SA Water’s solar portfolio began taking shape in December 2017 with the installation of a pilot 100 kilowatt solar PV and 50 kilowatt hour battery storage system at its Crystal Brook Depot. A further $10 million investment in up to five megawatts of solar PV to be positioned at treatment facilities in metropolitan Adelaide was announced in the same month, with first installation planned for mid-2018. Having already been jointly awarded Digital Utility of the Year with Horizon Power at the 2018 Digital Utility Awards, Mr Cheroux hopes that SA Water will also become a leading example of best practice energy management and efficiency. “Scaling up our solar capacity will jolt our energy management program towards our goal of zero net electricity costs by 2020,” Mr Cheroux said. “It’s important to be bold when it comes to innovation and achieving the kind of leaps we are after. “Our sustained focus on renewable energy generation is also helping reduce carbon dioxide emissions and contributing to greenhouse gas reduction targets.”

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- Mr. Clive R. Hawkes, Managing Director

optimisation, new filter nozzles and addition of DMI-65® filter media, will see the plant achieve high water quality all year round and will allow for increased throughput capability, in

Quantum Filtration Medium

The combined effects of the additional clarification, polymer

times of high load.

the existing plant and equipment, to increase the quality

The upgrade has provided KLPP low cost solutions, utilising and quantity of water to the power plant, whilst reducing maintenance and on-going operating costs.

Kuala Langit Power Plant

Mr. Kumar Shanmugan, Power Station Manager

“Advanced Filtration Media”


DMI-65® for Turbidity and Total Suspended Solids Removal REMOVAL OF TOTAL SUSPENDED SOLIDS AND TURBIDITY: The DMI-65® particle size distribution is engineered to provide a perfect filtration coefficient resulting in excellent mechanical filtration lowering total suspended solids (TSS) to less than 1mg/L and turbidity levels less than 1 NTU. IRON AND MANGANESE BUILDUP: Build up of iron and manganese results in very high maintenance overheads, loss of production and potentially system failure. DMI-65® efficiently removes dissolved iron to the almost undetectable levels as low as 0.005mg/L and manganese to 0.001mg/L as well as particulate, effectively removing this risk. REDUCED COSTS: The total cost of the iron and manganese removal water filtration system is significantly less than alternative solutions, the effectiveness, but relative simplicity, of DMI65® based systems reduces the upfront capital expenditure on plant complexity as well as the ongoing operational expenditure in chemicals, power and backwash waste water recovery. HIGH FLOW RATES: The infused technology of DMI-65® promotes the highest oxidation rate of any catalytic filtration media. This permits a significantly higher water flow rate to achieve the same level of iron and manganese removal. DMI-65 can operate at linear filtration velocities up to twice that of conventional media with a corresponding reduction in capital equipment costs. HIGH LOAD CAPACITY: DMI-65® also has higher iron and manganese load capacity which can extend the duration of filter runs and the time between backwashing, thereby reducing downtime, operating expense and wastage. REGENERATION NOT REQUIRED: The media operates with a continuous injection of sodium hypochlorite at low residual levels (0.1 to 0.3mg/L) which eliminates the need for Potassium Permanganate. WIDE OPERATING ENVIRONMENT: Stable and satisfactory performance at pH 5.8 to 8.6 and a maximum operating temperature of 113° F (45°C) reduces the need for investment to alter the operating environment. LONG LIFE: DMI-65® is not consumed in the process giving it an expected operational life of up to 10 years, providing considerable advantages over other processes or media. The media does not display a decaying capacity to do its catalytic work. Over the 5 to 10 year period, through many backwashing operations of the bed to remove retained solids, an attrition loss of the media occurs by contact between particles and mechanical abrasion.

www.dmi65.com info@dmi65.com +61 1300 303 281


WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

UPGRADING A WATER TREATMENT PLANT TO ENSURE OPTIMAL WATER QUALITY Quantum Filtration Medium (Quantum) conducted a series of site visits to assess options for upgrading the water treatment plant (WTP) supplying the Kuala Langat Power Plant (KLPP) in Malaysia. The goal was to highlight low-cost options with a low impact on plant serviceability, while increasing the WTP’s performance, efficiency, reliability and ability to cope with the seasonal load changes experienced in the raw water supply.

K

LPP has been in operation since 1996, using combined cycle gas turbine, and the plant is currently contributing 675MW of electricity generation capacity to the grid. The ability of the plant to supply electricity to the grid according to its obligation under the Power Purchase Agreement depends on a number of factors, including a reliable clean water supply for the purpose of cooling. On average, KLPP draws 20,000 cubic meters of treated water for its daily operation. For optimal operation and life of the plant, the water needs to be as clean as possible with low content of organic or inorganic substance. The potential for considerable improvements to the WTP were identified as: • Raw water clarification, prior to media filtration • Optimisation of the polymer dosing program • Changing of the media in the rapid sand filters to DMI-65®

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UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

CLARIFICATION AND POLYMER OPTIMISATION It was identified that the high turbidity and suspended solids levels in the raw water could be greatly reduced by clarification prior to the water entering the WTP. A preclarification stage would dramatically reduce the load on the current plant. A traditional clarifier and upstream polymer dosing system to handle 1ML/hr was not practical as it would cost well over US$1 million and take up considerable land area to install. With a very low retention time, this type of system would also require very high chemical usage. Quantum did however recognise that the existing raw water dams could potentially be modified to act as a clarifier. Due to the location of the inlet pipe and the balance pipe, a wall could be created to divert the incoming water around the lagoon to avoid short-circuiting, which would greatly reduce settling time in the lagoon. This would also reduce the requirement for sludge removal, as a large per cent of the solids would settle within the smaller walled area of the WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


lagoon. A vacuum pump with automatic valves would be used to select which line would be periodically pumped out. Ideally, polymer would be dosed at the river water inlet to allow mixing in the transfer line to the lagoon. In this case, as the river intake is located around 1km from the plant, the polymer was added into the pipe before the raw water entered the lagoon to allow for maximum mixing as the water entered the lagoon. This required additional polymer preparation and dosing near the lagoon inlet. Rather than build another liquid polymer system similar to the existing unit at the WTP, Quantum suggested a powdered polymer batching system be installed to greatly reduce UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

polymer costs. A range of polymer samples were supplied during the site visit and jar testing was carried out to see which particular polymer was most suited to this raw water. A local polymer supply company was able to supply a very similar product in powdered form and at a very reasonable price that would suit the batching system mentioned above.

REPLACEMENT OF THE RAPID SAND FILTER MEDIA During a site visit, one of the rapid sand filters was drained for inspection. The sand in the filters had never been changed, and was very hard-packed and in need of replacement. As the filter was filled with water, the WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

Upgrading a water treatment plant to ensure optimal water quality

infiltration rate of the incoming water was very poor. Most of the water flowed across and over the top of the sand. Water also drained through cracks in the hard-packed sand rather than evenly filtering through. Quantum proposed replacing the media with DMI-65® filtration media. The DMI-65® removes iron and manganese levels that may be encountered in the raw water source with varying quality. The DMI-65® requires a low level of free chlorine (0.1 - 0.3mg/L) to activate the media. The DMI-65® also provides the perfect filtration coefficient, resulting in excellent mechanical filtration, and lowering suspended solids and turbidity levels. While undergoing the media change out, it was recommended that all filtration nozzles were replaced. Inspection and repairs were also necessary to the actual concrete filters, as some nozzles had come free and there was damage to the filter floors. The addition of the DMI-65® and replacement of the filtration nozzles would improve not only the quality of water from the media filters, but also the quantity of water through the filters. The WTP can now run at its current capacity using only three of the four rapid sand filters, providing that the three ‘in-service’ filters are fully functional. The following work was conducted on all four of the media filters, with each filter taking around six weeks to refurbish, commission and bring back into service. Due to the poor condition of the existing sand media and the difficulty in accessing the media filters, the old media was manually removed. The walls, floor and pipe work of the filter were then high pressure cleaned to remove the many layers of built-up fouling throughout the filter. Once the filters were thoroughly cleaned, the old filter nozzles were removed. With the nozzles removed, several cycles of filling and dumping the water from the filter were repeated in an effort to clear any sand from the flow cavity beneath the filter floor. Where a build-up of sand was detected (due to filter nozzles blowing out), the high-pressure hose was inserted through the nozzle anchors to break up the sand and allow flushing.

ENSURING SUPERIOR FILTER PERFORMANCE Investigation of the filter floors conducted early on in the process highlighted a need for refurbishment and preventative maintenance. The repairs to the filter floor, where filter nozzles had been blown out and damaged, required re-grouting and all the nozzle anchors replaced. All of the filter nozzle anchors were tapped out to both clean the thread and assess the condition of the surrounding concrete. Half-inch BSP bolts were screwed into the nozzle anchor to ensure that they remained clean throughout the re-grouting and epoxy floor coating processes. In areas where remedial work was required, the anchors were replaced and re-grouting performed around the anchor stem. Once the grouting had set, the entire floor of the filter was double epoxy coated to prevent similar damage to the filter in future.

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UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

When the epoxy coating was dry, a further inspection was carried out to assess the condition of the filter floor and repairs prior to installing the new filter nozzles. Over the course of the upgrade, all the 11,250 filter nozzles were replaced. The replacement nozzles were of a finer slot spacing to cater for the finer DMI-65® media. Before adding the supporting quartz filter gravel and DMI-65® media, an aeration test was completed on each filter to ensure the security of the nozzles, and check for an even flow of air across the filter area. A 100mm layer of coarse quartz filter gravel was added to the filters to protect the filter nozzles from potential blockages due to fine media. A 600mm layer of the DMI-65® was then added to provide sufficient filtration bed depth, allowing for a 400mm freeboard to prevent loss of media during the backwash cycle. The filters were then filled with water and dosed with 200L of liquid chlorine (12.5 per cent) to activate the DMI65® media. Five or six cycles of backwashing were required to flush the chlorine solution until the water passing out over the overflow became clear. On completion of the backwash, the new DMI-65® media could be seen clearly. After the replacement of the old sand media with DMI-65®, the performance results have been consistently excellent. The expected results from the media filters after the upgrade were: TSS < 5mg/L and Turbidity < 2 NTU. The output of the media filters has seen a turbidity averaging below 1 NTU and a TSS consistently below 1mg/L. There have been no readings higher than 2 NTU, with turbidity and TSS generally undetectable and recorded as zero.

ACHIEVING PROJECT OBJECTIVES Overall, the upgrade to the WTP was a success, addressing the main objectives of the upgrade with excellent results. “The upgrade of the KLPP WTP has increased efficiency and reliability, and its ability to better cope with the seasonal load changes experienced in the raw water supply,” Quantum Managing Director, Clive Hawkes, said. “The high turbidity and suspended solids levels in the raw water have been greatly reduced by clarification prior to entering the plant. The existing plant is fixed in size and capacity, so a pre-clarification stage has dramatically reduced the load on the WTP. “The combined effects of the additional clarification, polymer optimisation, new filter nozzles and addition of DMI-65® filter media, will see the plant achieve high water quality all year round and will allow for increased capability in times of high load. “The major outcome of the upgrade was to provide low-cost options, utilising the existing plant and equipment to increase the quality and quantity of water, whilst reducing maintenance and ongoing operating costs. Quantum has managed to deliver cost savings and reduced maintenance whilst improving the quality of the water produced by the plant across a wide range of varying raw water qualities.” WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

New automated water treatment system

A WIN FOR WATER CONSERVATION With the potential to conserve fresh water and improve corrosion levels, a shift toward closed water treatment systems has long been considered the future of the industry. The challenge to create a fully automated closed system has been launched by NCH, with the resulting aquaDART® System recently launched in Australia.

R

educing the need for engineer attention, aquaDART® makes use of fluorescent traced technology to maintain chemical residual control and enables real-time sensors to measure key parameters, determining scale, corrosion and microbiological control. From here, custom controls regulate blow down and chemical feed, immediately correcting and communicating upset conditions. As a fully automated system, the web-based monitoring and control software allows for remote supervision of the aquaDART® System, while records are also automatically generated and accessible at any time through the web platform.

FACILITIES RESOURCE MANAGEMENT.

Case studies at chemical plants in South East Asia have confirmed that up to 141ML of water can be conserved through the implementation of aquaDART®, resulting in massive environmental and financial savings. With automation further reducing human error and increasing the efficiency of water treatment, the aquaDART® System is set to become an industry standard in the near future. For facilities and business managers who want to take control of their water treatment program, booking a site survey with a company like NCH Australia will ensure you can find out how to reduce operating costs significantly.

Optimize building resources so that sustainability becomes less of a challenge and more of an operating procedure. Dedicated to helping facilities engineers adapt cost-effective energy and water reduction plans, NCH works within the commercial sector to provide solutions designed for facility management.

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www.nchaustralia.com UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

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WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

WIOA OPERATORS OF THE YEAR Every year, the Water Industry Operators Association celebrates the best of the industry with its Operator of the Year awards. We spoke with recent winners from around the country, all of whom have demonstrated excellent performance, initiative and all-round attention to detail in their role as operators of water or wastewater treatment facilities.

GLENN TAGGART, CENTRAL HIGHLANDS WATER – VICTORIAN OPERATOR OF THE YEAR

I’m part of the water treatment operations team at Central Highlands Water. I’m mainly based out of the Daylesford water treatment plant, and I’m also involved in running six other plants throughout the Central Highlands Water supply area. We make sure that the treatment plants operate correctly and efficiently whenever they are needed. It’s a 24/7 operation and the most important thing is that the water is safe, compliant, and looks and tastes good. On a typical work day, I’m normally on-site before seven o’clock. The first thing I’ll do is check the control systems for all sites to make sure that all the plants are operating properly. Throughout the day I’ll test the water quality around the plants that I am looking after at various points in the process. I also look after any maintenance required around the plants, both planned and unplanned. We deal with a fair amount of data and records to make sure that the work we do can be audited, so there is a lot of paperwork, data entry and analysis. Various other activities keep me busy such as chemical stock takes, ordering and receiving deliveries of chemicals, equipment and materials, and project work. One innovation that has come in recently is our use of

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UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

a closed group on a social media app, which we use as a team to let each other know what is happening at the various plants. Any team member can attend any site and know the situation before they arrive. It also shares the most important information from the plant diaries. We’ve also installed solar panels to offset our power usage at the Daylesford plant, and we’ve modified the Daylesford plant to enable us to bring multiple sources of water simultaneously into the plant at any time, blending the waters to maximise the amount we can use of any source and make the water as easy to treat as possible. Technically, the main challenge I probably face as an operator is dealing with changing climates and weather, and the variability in the source water quality and availability that it creates. It is a challenge to make sure that we can keep the process running really well and be smart about how we use the water sources we have. We’re always looking to understand the likely changes ahead of us and the risks, and modifying our plant or processes or raw water systems to be ready for those risks. Another challenge is the constant drive to reduce costs to our customers and the need to continually become more efficient, and do more with less. We like to think that we come at this challenge positively, using it to push ourselves to always look at what more we can do and think of new opportunities. We’ve used improvements in SCADA and remote plant control, and put in more online instruments, along with reviewing our processes to make sure that we are not doing anything unnecessary. I’ve been in this industry for over 30 years now and I wouldn’t leave it for quids. I enjoy the environment that I work in, particularly the variability and the opportunity to work outside, the people I work with and the feeling that I’ve done something that is worthwhile. I’ve been lucky in the time I’ve been at Central Highlands Water that we’ve always had good people and teams that work well together to get things done and deal with issues when they come up.

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WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

DAVE CASHEN, BATHURST REGIONAL COUNCIL – NSW OPERATOR OF THE YEAR My current role as Bulk Water Supply Supervisor for Bathurst Regional Council is a challenging and at the same time a changing role because of how technologies and processes are improving. You have to be able to adapt to new ways but also understand and direct your staff to be the best they can be, while maintaining quality and, very importantly, value

for ratepayers money. My expertise does not only relate to running and managing the water filtration plant but covers both supply dams, the pump stations and approximately 34 reservoirs spread out over the Bathurst area. Some of my day-to-day tasks involve liaising with local contractors, businesses, sales reps for new products and equipment, and of course answering public questions relating to water quality. A typical work day involves lots of facts and figures, from checking what has been consumed over the previous 24 hours to water quality testing on the day. Paperwork and more paperwork because with so much to check, repair or replace, everything needs to be documented, ordered and paid for. Chemicals that we need in order to treat river water to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and to comply with the council’s own critical control points to be fit for consumption need to be maintained and stock rotated. Maintenance is also a major part of our day-to-day activities to keep things running smoothly. Recent innovations that we have adopted include WiFi for internal data communications and fibre optic cables, which allow for previously off-system treatment units to be placed onto the network and all operators to remotely monitor and adjust parameters. Our online monitoring equipment automatically adjusts chemicals based on certain quality parameters. We also have an on-system alarm and shut-off adjustable set points, system process graph availability and microwave link capabilities. The main challenge operators face is keeping up to date with current training and new innovations within

UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

the testing and monitoring fields. We overcome this by always upgrading our skills and having good networking programs using RISK EDGE, WIOA, TAFE NSW, NSW Office of Water, NSW Department of Primary Industries, NSW Environment Protection Authority and also liaising with operators from other councils around the region. I enjoy being an operator because every day is different, from upgrading and designing new methods to researching new technologies. Providing good quality water to the public and having great pride in what we do makes the job.

BRENDAN ROESLER, TRILITY – SOUTH AUSTRALIAN OPERATOR OF THE YEAR My current position is TRILITY Team Leader of the Lower Riverland water treatment plants. This consists of the operation and maintenance of Summit Storage, Murray Bridge, Tailem Bend and Mannum water treatment plants which supply water to a large part of the upper south east of the state, local towns and most of the Adelaide Hills. As part of a team of five, we also manage the operations and maintenance of a small wastewater treatment plant at Birdwood which is contracted to us by the Adelaide Hills Council. My main responsibility is to manage the operations side of the plant process which involves contractor management, maintaining compliance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, scheduling maintenance at all sites and general duties which are shared throughout the team at the different sites. Recent innovations include the advancement of the IT side of data collection and maintenance planning areas of the business. Since starting 15 years ago, the plants in the Riverland were ahead of their time, and over the years we have remained in front by updating the way we access data and plant control and maintenance using SCADA; remote access via tablets and mobile phones; as well as accessing emails while on the fly via mobile. We have adopted a range of technology to make the operator's job easier. As well as technology in the field, being able to access learning and training material online when it suits us, rather than attending the classroom for training, frees up more time for other tasks. The main challenge is compliance with water industry guidelines and health guidelines which has become more of a focus in recent times. The large amount of reporting, sampling and quality control makes 24/7 monitoring

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WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

WIOA operators of the year

tougher at times, especially with changing Murray River conditions. To overcome these challenges, our operators now have greater access to support from engineering staff within the company and have more opportunities to share information with operators in other teams and with other members of the Water Industry Operators Association, through attending conferences etc. I love working in the operations side of the water industry because the variety of work has always been better than being stuck in an office in one spot. Since taking on the role of Team Leader, I’ve been spending more time in front of a computer screen, but there is always the option of being able to go out and start a different task on the plant. Most of the plants we manage are standalone and away from the general public, so it is not hard to get some exercise and do a plant check at the same time. The work is not a job as such, but a lifestyle, as we are all able to plan our work day around the workload which varies greatly.

DAVID STACEY, TASWATER – TASMANIAN OPERATOR OF THE YEAR

I currently operate any of 11 STPs or water treatment plants in our system on rotation and am involved with optimisation and problem solving when we have issues beyond the norm. At times I am also involved with reactive works in the reticulation network for both sewer and water. Our team recently gained a number of trainees and I have been involved in their training process, supporting their

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UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

education and familiarisation of the treatment process. On a typical day, I review my work schedule and head to the assigned region, as well as liaising with my coordinator in the morning to review the past 24 hours. I then sort out my workload and set my path for the day, which may involve operating up to four treatment plants in a day. I also deal with any reactive issues that pop up and manage the operational duties that exist in our treatment plants. During the day, I may get calls from other operators to discuss issues in other areas as we work as a team and pool our knowledge to get the best results for our customers. One great change to the operational environment at TasWater is the value and support we are now receiving from our optimisation teams (water and sewer). With a simple phone call, we now have access to key process and scientific experts that readily help us diagnose and resolve process issues in plants and maintain water/ effluent quality. With continual improvement, we are seeing some older problematic plants improve. Possibly the biggest challenge is the operation of older plants that are now required to meet modern quality and performance standards. We try to overcome these physical limitations by utilising as much internal support as we can and being as diligent as possible in our duties. We find that if we are empowered to do what we are trained to do we can generally catch issues early on and prevent the failures that cause quality issues. We know our plants and we know the process limitations – if we remain observant and have the time to rectify failures correctly, we can limit the greater issues that propagate from these seemingly small issues. Of course, things do go wrong at times, but we are well trained to manage emergency situations. I enjoy being an operator because there are plenty of challenges every day and the work is never stagnant. The people who excel in this work and stay in the industry tend to have a great comradery and passion for what we do. The team I work with have a real sense of ownership of the assets we are charged with operating and maintaining. I don’t believe there is a single person in any of the North West teams that doesn’t feel pride in the quality of water we deliver to customers and the levels we treat the waste to. We live in the community too, as do our wives, kids and extended families, and we all feel the responsibility of ensuring that when our customers drink the water we produce, they are safe and the product is of the highest quality possible.

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WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

FILTEC ADDS EQUIPMENT SALES AND SERVICE TO ITS AUSTRALIAN PROJECT BUSINESS Filtec has a long and outstanding reputation in New Zealand for providing specialist water treatment equipment and service to its municipal and industrial customers.

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ince arriving in Australia in 2015, Filtec International has completed several substantial water treatment projects across a variety of applications. In addition to our water and wastewater treatment project work we are pleased to announce the arrival of our equipment sales and service division into the Australian market. Supported by our long-term partners Trojan, SUEZ, 3M, SATI and HACH we offer a large range of equipment solutions including package UV, UF, MF, RO, chlorination, hi flow cartridge filtration, analysers, self-cleaning screens and polymer dosing systems. Filtec would also be pleased to discuss your ongoing plant service needs.

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For further information on Filtec’s skills and capabilities for your water treatment equipment and service needs, please contact Alan Tan on 0413 844 308 or alan.tan@filtec.co.nz. You can also visit www.filtec.co.nz.

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UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

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WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

AUTOMATED MICROBIAL DETECTION SYSTEM

RECEIVES AUSTRALIAN ACCREDITATION The National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA), Australia’s national accreditation body for laboratories, inspection bodies and calibration services, has granted accreditation to an innovative automated microbial detection system for use at the Tamworth Environmental Laboratory.

T

he Tamworth Environmental Laboratory primarily offers environmental testing services to the North West, Northern Tablelands and Liverpool Plains regions of New South Wales. Previously, the regionally located laboratory outsourced its micro samples to an external lab. This process meant it would take several days to receive results which caused delays for both the laboratory and its customers. In May 2018, the Tamworth Laboratory received NATA accreditation to use Canadian technology from Tecta-PDS in order to automate its water testing for e-Coli and total Coliforms. James Anderson, Senior Laboratory Technician at Tamworth Environmental Laboratory, said, “The requirement for timely microbiological analysis for drinking water was identified as a public health issue in our region and Tecta B16 provided the solution with the added benefits over other methodologies of rapid detection and notification.”

THE AUTOMATED ADVANTAGE The Tecta-PDS automated microbial detection system, Tecta B16, is the only US EPA approved automated method for drinking water compliance testing. It is available in Australia through Tecta-PDS’ regional distributor, Thermo Fisher Scientific. The system is a complete, self-contained automated microbiology testing system capable of providing laboratorygrade results on-site with unprecedented time-to-result performance. The complete testing capabilities include the interpretation of results and full reports which provides lab-grade quality results instantly via email. Full automation of the test analysis and interpretation processes eliminates the need for subjective, visual interpretation of results. This means that non-technical personnel can initiate testing and perform all required quality assurance procedures while still ensuring laboratory-grade test results.

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UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

Other benefits and features include: • • • • • • •

Rapid alerting with no fixed incubation delay High reliability with minimal handling of samples High dynamic range eliminates need for multiple dilutions Direct testing of turbid samples An objective, written test report is produced for each sample tested Industry standard enzyme indicators of target bacteria Self-contained desktop packaging with touchscreen control

CREATING MEASURABLE RESULTS By using the Tecta B16 instrument, Tamworth Laboratory has reduced its time-to-result by a minimum of one day, as well as lowering its shipping costs for samples. From an operational perspective, Tamworth has embraced the ease-of-use and limited training required for a lab technician to run aseptic microbial samples. Tim Adams, EVP Tecta-PDS, said, “This is a fantastic step forward in the Australian market. We are very proud to be adopted in over 35 countries and look forward to continuing to work closely together with Tamworth Laboratories and in Australia.” For more information, visit www.thermofisher.com.au/ tecta or call 1300 735 295.

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


Fast. Sensitive. Accurate. Automated Microbiology Detection System The TECTA™ B16 is fully automated and can provide E. coli and Total Coliform results in 2-18 hours, depending on the level of contamination. With integrated networking capabilities, the TECTA™ B16 will provide immediate notification and early warning of positive sample results as soon as they occur. Results are automatically sent to any device, including computers, tablets and smart phones, on detection of bacteria.

Find out more at thermofisher.com.au/tecta © 2018 Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. All rights reserved. Trademarks used are owned as indicated on thermofisher.com.au/trademarks. TECTATM is a trademark of Veolia Water Technologies. 1519010111


WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

Utilising sunlight for

NEW WASTEWATER TREATMENT TECHNOLOGY

Researchers from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom have developed a new technology that uses sunlight to give wastewater treatment plants an environmentally-friendly option for micropollutant removal.

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researcher from the University of Bath, Professor Davide Mattia, has been awarded a five-year fellowship in water engineering to develop a new, more efficient way for the water industry to safely remove micropollutants from water and reduce human health issues in the future.

THE PROBLEM WITH MICROPOLLUTANTS Micropollutants found in toxic chemicals such as drugs, hormones and pesticides are present in wastewater at very low concentrations. Micropollutants slowly accumulate in the soil and in groundwater, upsetting the ecological balance and eventually finding their way into the human food supply chain, with a potential to cause severe long-term health effects. Current technology is not capable of removing micropollutants from wastewater during the treatment process. As such, there is an urgent need for efficient, effective and low-carbon technologies capable of safely removing these micropollutants from the water. One technology that is addressing this problem is photocatalysis — where light is used to speed up a reaction which breaks down organic pollutants to non-harmful constituents. While this method is effective, the large amount of nano-sized photocatalyst particles required have the potential to leak from the water treatment plant and accumulate in the environment. PROFESSOR DAVIDE MATTIA

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NEW TECHNOLOGY PREVENTING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT Professor Mattia’s team is working on new technology that entirely foregoes the use of nanoparticles by replacing them with a highly porous photocatalytic foam which creates an efficient method of capturing all the micropollutants whilst preventing nanoparticulate material leaching into the environment. Led by Professor Mattia, researchers have produced a novel photocatalytic nanoporous anodic metal foam that utilises sunlight to remove pollutants. The sponge-like substance uses sunlight to transform organic pollutants to non-harmful constituents — a much safer and more environmentally sensitive option than existing technologies. Professor Mattia will be working with academic and industrial partners to retrofit existing water treatment plants to accommodate this new technology. “We hope this will result in a more effective way of removing micropollutants in water without increasing carbon emissions or producing toxic by-products,” Professor Mattia said. "I believe our anodic metal foams represent an innovative and practical solution that water companies will be able to integrate in their existing infrastructure without radical changes, thereby lowering the barriers to their adoption. "I am very excited to have the opportunity to address the grand challenge of micropollutant removal.” University of Bath Water Innovation and Research Centre Director, Professor Jan Hofman, said Professor Mattia’s development is a much-needed solution for the water industry worldwide. "It is fantastic that Professor Mattia gets this opportunity for this exciting research, to develop fundamentally new technology for organic micropollutant removal,” Professor Hofman said. "Removal of these compounds from drinking water and wastewater is extremely important for public health and aquatic life. The water sector has great need for innovations in this field, which Professor Mattia's research can provide.

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

ENSURING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL

Every community, no matter how big or small or where they are located, needs to have an effective method of safely disposing of sewage to prevent environmental contamination, and to prevent people, animals and insect pests from coming into contact with human waste and spreading disease.

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hen untreated or inadequately treated wastewater is released into the environment it can have significant environmental, human health and socioeconomic impacts. Domestic sewage consists of household wastewater (from sources such as bathing/showering, dishwashing, laundry, toilet flushing, etc) and human waste which can contain a wide range of chemical contaminants, as well as pathogenic microorganisms that can cause parasitic intestinal infestations and communicable diseases such as giardiasis, cholera, typhoid, dysentery and diarrhoea. Domestic wastewater often contains a wide range of dissolved and suspended chemicals originating from detergents, as well as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care products — collectively known as 'emerging contaminants'. In addition, many soaps and household cleaning products contain high levels of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, which are plant nutrients that can cause an ecological imbalance if they accumulate in the environment. The inadequate treatment and disposal of human waste can lead to soil, groundwater and surface water bodies becoming contaminated. Inadequately treated sewage is not only unsightly, it can also be odorous.

HEALTH THREATS According to a United Nations report, domestic wastewater can contain high levels of excreted pathogens, many of which can cause gastroenteritis. It is estimated that 1.45 million people die every year from diarrhoea, with children under the age of six being most vulnerable. Fifty-eight per cent of these deaths are attributed to limited access to clean water and poor sanitation and hygiene. People can become infected if they come into direct contact with untreated wastewater, or indirectly if they swim in contaminated freshwater or coastal waters, or if they consume food or drinking water that has been contaminated by wastewater. Filter feeders such as shellfish are particularly prone to contamination and can make a person very ill if they are consumed. Some species of fish can accumulate toxins in their tissues, which become more and more concentrated over the course of their lifetime. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS In addition to the human health risk, inadequately treated wastewater can have significant ecological impacts too. Studies have shown that pharmaceuticals released with human wastewater can disrupt the endocrine system of aquatic animals such as fish and frogs, feminising males, which upsets the ecological balance and threatens biodiversity.

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UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

Nutrient loading can strip oxygen from the water, leading to hypoxic conditions in freshwater lakes and coastal bays, known as dead zones, that cannot support life. High nutrient loads also adversely affect the ability of coral reefs to withstand or recover from coral bleaching. An abundance of phytoplankton limits light penetration and provides a food source for the larvae of the predatory crown of thorns starfish and filter feeding organisms, allowing them to thrive to the detriment of corals. In addition, flourishing algae, stimulated by the influx of nutrients, can outcompete and smother coral, inhibiting its ability to grow or recover.

SOCIOECONOMIC IMPACTS A reduction in biodiversity in both freshwater and marine ecosystems can adversely affect commercial fisheries, which in turn can lead to loss of income or job losses. Artisan and subsistence fisheries may also be affected, resulting in the loss of a staple food source for communities that rely on seafood as their main source of protein. Degradation of habitat, such as coral reefs and freshwater lakes, that support recreational activities can lead to a drop in tourism, resulting in economic losses as well as job losses in both the tourism sector and industries/businesses that support these activities. SEWAGE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR REMOTE LOCATIONS Due to the lack of infrastructure at remote locations, sewage is usually treated on-site. Commonly used on-site sewage treatment options include composting toilets and septic tanks. However, because sludge removal is not available at remote locations, disposal remains a problem. Typically, a septic tank system with a soak pit is employed, but contaminants can still leach through soils to pollute groundwater and freshwater bodies, and ultimately coastal waters. A more efficient solution is required, particularly in areas that are ecologically sensitive. One such solution is a pre-fabricated, on-site, turn-key sewage treatment system. The Hydroflux Epco RoadTrain® is a self-contained sewage treatment plant that is specifically designed for use in remote locations. These plug and play micro sewage treatment plants are available in a variety of capacities and process options. While sewage treatment may not be a top priority in sparsely populated areas, it shouldn't be overlooked. The risk of groundwater contamination is the same as anywhere else, and the environmental, health and socioeconomic impacts may be much higher. Hydroflux Epco, a member of the Hydroflux Group, is a water and wastewater business with over 1000 references dating back to 1961. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


PROTECTING OUR MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE The Hydroflux Group consists of eight specialist water companies serving the municipal, mining & industrial sectors. Our offerings include design & construct projects, technology supply, aftermarket services and chemicals.

1300 417 697

www.hydroflux.com.au

WAT E R

SCIENCE

TECHNOLOGY


WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

OPTIMISING

WASTEWATER REUSE THROUGH ADVANCED TREATMENT PROCESSES Since 2015, City West Water has been treating wastewater from its Altona Sewage Treatment Plant to supply high-quality recycled water to local customers for irrigating golf courses, green spaces, and for industrial use. Recycled water is a key factor in managing Australia’s water security requirements and a range of technologies are being utilised to reduce salt content, remove pathogens and produce fit for purpose water.

The water from the Altona Sewage Treatment Plant is too saline for its intended use without further treatment, but City West Water has optimised its salt-reduction process to allow the water to be sustainably recycled and to enable a higher and more cost-effective return on water treatment processes. The Altona Sewage Treatment Plant produces two separate water products, each fit for its intended use. “Recycled water ensures our customers are provided with fit for purpose water while reducing demand on Melbourne’s drinking water supply,” City West Water Process Engineer, Shanli Zhang, said. “For example, approximately 2 billion litres of high-quality fit for purpose recycled water is supplied annually to plastics manufacturer Qenos for use in their boilers and cooling towers.”

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The utility has successfully applied Ultrafiltration membranes and multiple pass reverse osmosis in treatment at its Altona Salt Reduction Plant (ASRP), and is utilising several complementary technologies to provide an optimised multi-barrier treatment. “Reverse osmosis membranes are semi-permeable membranes that work by applying high pressure to feedwater, forcing it across the membrane while dissolved salts are rejected,” Mr Zhang said. “Between 95 and 99 per cent of salt is rejected to produce highquality water with low salinity, and a separate brine stream. Reverse osmosis also serves as a barrier to pathogens and is an important part of a multi-barrier treatment train.

UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

“Reverse osmosis membranes provide effective treatment for producing recycled water but are susceptible to biological fouling (as well as other forms of fouling) which can impact the effectiveness of the membranes and shorten the asset life.” Mr Zhang said to achieve optimised reverse osmosis performance, the ASRP sought to optimise its microbial control strategy and cartridge filters selection. “Our feed water is effluent water from the Altona Sewage Treatment Plant, which means that naturally there will be some amount of organic residuals from the biological process. “The reverse osmosis membrane is very good at reducing the salt content, but we needed pre-treatment to reduce the pollutants as reverse osmosis may be fouled quickly by the organic and biological substance.”

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

“Last year, we applied some new technology based on Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which is present in all living cells. This new lab technology can extract the ATP from the living cell of the bacteria and then test and quantify the amount of ATP,” Mr Zhang said. “This gives us an idea of total microbial condition in our water and provides fast feedback for how well we are controlling it.” Using this broad spectrum technology enabled City West Water to optimise its microbial control regime and check it was effective.

NOVEL MICROBIAL CONTROL STRATEGY Most recycled water plants adopt continuous chloramination as a method of microbial control to prevent biological fouling within the membranes. At the ASRP, City West Water has adopted shock dosing (one hour per day) of a biocide (2,2-Dibromo-3nitrilopropionamide (DBNPA)). “We have found this method of microbial control reduces risk by eliminating the possibility of overdosing chlorine which can damage reverse osmosis membranes. It is also a lower cost option than chloramination when done in shock dosing mode,” Mr Zhang said. “It also has the added benefit of being easier to implement and control because it removes the need to

actively monitor and manage the ratio of chlorine and ammonia that reaches the reverse osmosis membranes.” According to Mr Zhang, the focus was on optimising the performance and lifespan of the reverse osmosis membranes because it represented the greatest benefit in terms of optimising performance and asset costs at the ASRP. City West Water was also aware of the high cost of the propriety biocide used and the need to only dose what was enough to control microbial growth without wasting the biocide. In order to achieve this, City West Water needed to consider and optimise the performance of the biocide across the treatment train. The utility decided to use a microbial audit technology (LuminUltra) which provides almost realtime feedback on the levels of microbial presence in the treated wastewater.

UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

IMPLEMENTING TRIAL OUTCOMES The ASRP is one of the few plants that has adopted this pre-treatment process, which made it difficult when initially conducting the technology trials to learn from previous experiences. “Before we adopt a technology, we conduct research, reference check and undertake trials,” Mr Zhang said. “There were not a lot of references for us to learn from. We tried different scenarios and initially it was hard to make an assessment for the results.” Mr Zhang said that critical to the success of the project and the adoption of the microbial audit technology, was working in partnership with DOW and LuminUltra, companies that specialise in microbial control and monitoring. “We worked together to develop and conduct a trial which involved a site audit, selection of sample points for testing microbial presence and adopting the test methodology (the Quench Gone Aqueous test method in this case).” Mr Zhang said that one of the key lessons learned from the project is that biocide shock dose can be a feasible option to control biofouling in dual membrane plants as long as it is designed, operated and monitored properly.

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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WATER OPERATIONS AND TREATMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

IMPROVING SLUDGE MANAGEMENT IN WATER TREATMENT The North Pine Water Treatment Plant provides clean, safe drinking water for the northern Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions. When the plant required a sludge residue handling upgrade, local water utility Seqwater engaged Zinfra as its principal contractor for the design and construct job. Having consistently worked with the utility since 2013, Zinfra has a strong understanding of Seqwater’s needs and requirements, and was able to offer several innovative solutions, delivering project efficiencies and numerous savings for the bulk water authority.

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he North Pine Water Treatment Plant project centred around the provision of two new centrifuges to dewater sludge extracted during the water treatment process. The centrifuges are located within a specialised dewatering building that also houses chemical dosing, solids storage, and water and air services, all of which are powered and controlled by the new Motor Control Cubical (MCC) for the facility. In addition to the dewatering building and equipment, Zinfra upgraded the existing clarifiers and constructed a centrifuge feed tank, along with new pipework, electrical and control supply to all equipment, and road upgrades.

EFFICIENCIES AND STRONG COLLABORATION RESULT IN LIMITED OPERATIONAL IMPACTS All upgrade projects require some element of tie-in to the existing system that may result in significant impacts to plant operation. Zinfra Project Manager, Spencer Walmsley, said that the majority of clients, particularly when it is a key asset such as the North Pine Water Treatment Plant, request limited interruptions to their daily operations. “The project required six typical tie-ins, including high voltage power supply, service water, sludge inlet, sludge overflow, sludge disposal area (SDA) transfer pipeline and a final fibre optic/control integration. These were coordinated during existing planned shutdowns or completed with temporary bypasses. This resulted in limited operational impacts, in addition to all tie-ins being completed successfully and within the designated time frame,” Mr Walmsley said. Zinfra also proposed a two-storey design for the dewatering building, where Seqwater had originally considered a split level building with significantly long conveyors (25m plus). This reduced the overall construction footprint, including reducing the amount of access roads and new fencing required. ENSURING PROACTIVE AND EFFECTIVE STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT Mr Walmsley highlighted that construction on any brownfield operational plant always brings challenges, but proactive and effective reporting and communication during the design and construction phases identified several unforeseen challenges early on.

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UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

“Zinfra involves delivery staff during design phases early in the process to ensure construction limitations, time periods, and most importantly safety are considered and form part of the solution. This helps facilitate the right design outcomes, saves time, reduces safety issues, and can highlight and resolve operational or access restrictions and issues early. “Specific to the North Pine project, we established clear and transparent reporting along with routine progress meetings and numerous design workshops. In setting up these reviews and meetings to discuss and resolve issues being encountered or likely to be encountered, all parties were involved in the resolution strategies, culminating in the delivery of a successful project.”

MITIGATING RISKS THROUGH CONSISTENT COMMUNICATION AND ROBUST PROCEDURES Prior to site works commencing, progress meetings identified excavation and the potential presence of asbestos as two of the higher construction risks. To mitigate these risks, Zinfra and Seqwater developed a site specific excavation procedure to reduce the potential of damage to existing known and unknown buried services, utilising Non Destructive Digging (NDD) techniques to verify the perimeter of excavations deemed to be in high risk areas prior to mechanical excavation activities commencing. While a review of the site’s asbestos register identified that workers were not likely to encounter asbestos, the potential risk was still highlighted and site testing was carried out during initial decommissioning and tank refurbishment works. According to Mr Walmsley, 11 of the 12 samples taken during drying bed demolition works confirmed the existence of asbestos piping which was uncovered prior to demolition commencing. “The area was demarcated and barricaded off, and on confirmation of the results, a licensed asbestos contractor was arranged to remove all Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM), with work re-commencing following issue of a clearance certificate,” Mr Walmsley said. Overall, Zinfra showed strong alignment of its core values and safety non-negotiables with Seqwater’s policies and procedures, delivering exceptional project outcomes for the North Pine Water Treatment Plant. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


ZINFRA. BUILDING REPUTATIONS

Sylvester de Almeida Project Manager - Jemena â&#x20AC;&#x153;Introducing new technology is always challenging and increases risk, so when we were appointing a service provider to design, build and commission the first two zone substations in the Jemena distribution network to use the new IEC61850 substation automation system, we had to get it right. Affirming our decision, Zinfra successfully delivered the project, leveraging its extensive experience and expertise in zone substation projects, along with its highly capable skills in design, construction and commissioning. Testament to the quality of the work, the project won the AIPM state Project Management Achievement Award (PMAA) for the Construction/Engineering category.â&#x20AC;?

www.zinfra.com.au


STORMWATER

Pioneering stormwater harvesting FOR POTABLE USE IN AUSTRALIA The regional city of Orange is located approximately 260km west of Sydney in the central west region of NSW. In response to a severe water shortage crisis, Orange City Council developed the first application of harvesting urban stormwater for indirect potable use in Australia. The innovative scheme is able to provide 25 per cent of Orange’s annual unrestricted water demand.

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ater supply in Orange had previously been provided by two water storages which captured runoff from predominantly rural catchments. While Orange has relatively high annual rainfall compared to surrounding areas, its location at the top of the catchment limited the volume of water that could be captured. In late 2007, the city’s water storages were below 40 per cent and significant resources were directed to reduce water consumption. By May 2010, the combined water storage level dropped to its lowest level of 23 per cent. The dry climatic conditions made it critical that alternative water supplies were identified that could provide long-term benefits. The options explored included using groundwater; recommissioning Council’s original water supply dam; carting water to the city; and harvesting stormwater from both rural and urban catchments. The use of recycled effluent was not an option as the city’s recycled water was already fully allocated to Cadia Valley Operations which is one of Australia’s largest gold mining operations located near Orange. Harvesting stormwater from urban areas for potable water use was something new for Council to consider. This solution had not been delivered anywhere across Australia previously but Council was determined to take this option forward as early investigations were showing it was viable.

THE FIRST OF ITS KIND The urban area of Orange lies within two local creek catchments, Blackmans Swamp Creek and Ploughmans Creek. A detailed hydrological model showed that 15 to 30 per cent of the city’s annual water needs could potentially be gained through stormwater harvesting from Blackmans Swamp Creek. Blackmans Swamp Creek Constructed between October 2008 - March 2009, the $5 million Blackmans Swamp Creek stormwater harvesting scheme is made up of several elements. Initially water runs through two large Gross Pollutant Traps (GPTs) that remove

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UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

a portion of the larger pollutants from the stormwater. These are located on the creek itself and another on a major piped drainage line. A rock and gabion harvesting weir allows low flows to pass through and create a small (3ML) weir pool during runoff events. A pump station located upstream of the harvesting weir has three variable speed pumps in a duty/ standby arrangement, each with a capacity of 225L/s. The pumps direct the stormwater to a 230ML holding dam used to balance harvested stormwater flows with the treatment system and provide some detention time. A second pump station extracts water from the holding dam and transfers it to the batch ponds. Before water enters the first of the two in-series batch ponds, a coagulant (aluminium chlorohydrate) is added to promote flocculation and settling of suspended solids and attached contaminants. Water then moves to a second batch pond. These ponds partially existed as disused sludge ponds and were cleaned out and deepened to be used as part of the stormwater harvesting scheme. Once the necessary water quality standards have been achieved, the water is then pumped into the city’s main water storage at Suma Park Dam. An existing 250mm pipe was utilised as a large section of this pipe connection between the batch ponds and Suma Park Dam was no longer required. Water from the Suma Park Dam is treated as part of the drinking supply at the Icely Road Water Treatment Plant. Following the success of the Blackmans Swamp Creek stormwater harvesting scheme it was expanded to include the Ploughmans Creek stormwater harvesting project. Ploughmans Creek The $4.1 million Ploughmans Creek project is an extension of the Blackmans Swamp Creek scheme. Constructed in 2011, it consists of four constructed stormwater wetland systems that have been retrofitted into existing urban areas at locations which were previously identified in a multi-criteria analysis process. These locations were chosen due to land availability, WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


STORMWATER HARVESTED STORMWATER ENTERING SUMA PARK DAM FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2009

upstream urban catchment size and reliability of flows. The wetlands were sized to maximise treatment given the size restrictions associated with the available land. Multiple pump stations are then used to transfer flow to existing raw water rising mains. Additional pipeline was required to extend from the existing raw water main to connect to the holding dam which is already used for the Blackmans Swamp Creek stormwater harvesting scheme. “In the Blackmans Swamp Creek catchment we use a semi-permeable weir (with a base-flow pipe) to create a pool from which we pump to a Holding Dam at 450 L/s. In the Ploughmans Creek Catchment we use four constructed wetlands to slow the creek flow for transfer via three small pump stations (six pumps) downstream of the wetlands that pump at a range from 20 to 90 L/s,” Water Treatment Manager at Orange City Council, Jon Francis, said. The combined average harvesting potential of both of these projects is 1350ML/year with 850ML provided by Blackmans Swamp Creek and up to 500ML provided by Ploughmans Creek. Permanent approval for the Blackmans Swamp Creek and Ploughmans Creek stormwater harvesting to potable schemes was acquired by April 2015.

UNEXPLORED TERRITORY As Orange was the first city in Australia to start harvesting stormwater for potable use, there was a distinct lack of data and guidance available. Therefore Orange City Council had to address key knowledge gaps related to water quality in order to build confidence in regulators and community that the scheme could be successful. UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

Key knowledge gaps that needed to be addressed included: • Lack of relevant established data for stormwater runoff contaminants in Orange. Council undertook a catchment audit, established a monitoring program and reviewed available water quality monitoring data to understand stormwater quality • Lack of regulations and guidance for the harvesting and use of stormwater for potable uses. Other existing documents were used as a guide with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines taking priority despite the fact that stormwater was being used as a raw water source The lack of existing guidance and requirements for the harvesting of stormwater for drinking water purposes meant that regulators were cautious to approve the solutions. This was a risk to Council given the critical timing of the stormwater harvesting schemes. Extensive engagement was undertaken with a number of State Government departments to provide input and build confidence in the solution. There were also some downstream stakeholders that had concerns with the solution. This included concern from creek care and environmental groups about impacts on creek ecology associated with changes in flow regimes and water licence holders downstream of the scheme who were concerned that stormwater harvesting would compromise their ability to access their water entitlement. However, broader community acceptance was achieved relatively quickly through a combination of community education campaigns which focused on the requirement for secure water supplies and the details of how the water would be treated to reduce risk to the community. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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STORMWATER

Pioneering stormwater harvesting for potable use in Australia

ONE OF THE FOUR STORMWATER WETLAND SYSTEMS THAT WERE CONSTRUCTED AS PART OF THE PLOUGHMANS CREEK PROJECT

“I remember standing out the front of the pub when we had some rain during the drought and a community member beside me looked at the stormwater running down the drain and said ‘why can’t we capture and use this?’,” Mr Francis said. CONVERSION OF WEEDY DRAINAGE CORRIDORS INTO

LEARNING ON THE JOB Due to the critical timing of the project, it was important that the approval and design process occurred in parallel. This meant that the design had to be able to respond quickly to issues and opportunities identified through the approval process. Key to the effective and rapid change was setting a clear vision and removing barriers for key staff and consultants to apply their strengths in achieving necessary outcomes. Strong leadership in a critical time fostered an innovative working environment which empowered staff members. Conservative approaches were taken to set water quality targets and monitoring requirements. This has led to a good set of data which can help to generate targets and guidelines for future projects like this. POSITIVE IMPACTS ON THE COMMUNITY Mr Francis said there are multiple social and environmental benefits to harvesting and reusing stormwater. “A secure water supply provides a level of service that the community, both residential and commercial, expects. “Given the close proximity of the stormwater harvesting scheme to Suma Park Dam and a simple but effective treatment system, the costs of running the scheme are relatively low, and so there is minimal financial impact on the total residential bill.” Since the construction of the Blackmans Swamp Creek and Ploughmans Creek stormwater harvesting schemes, Council has also been investigating the best use of its stormwater. Mr Francis said the treated stormwater has a variety of uses.

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UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS HAS CREATED HIGH AMENITY LANDSCAPES WHICH ARE NOW VALUED BY THE COMMUNITY

ORANGE CITY COUNCIL WATER MANAGEMENT

“The water can be used to supplement the city’s raw water supply as it can be transferred to Suma Park Dam and mixed with other raw water sources. Alternatively, the stormwater can be further treated for use in a dual-pipe (purple pipe) system for garden watering and toilet flushing that will ultimately supply 4500 residents in the newer areas in the north and west of the city.”

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


FUTURE OF STORMWATER FOR POTABLE USE The water quality and flow data collected through the operation of these schemes can help pave the way for this to be done in other locations. “For the future of the scheme we are considering a constructed wetland in the Blackmans Swamp Creek Catchment, and we are continuing with connections of the dual-water system to new residences,” Mr Francis said. “It is definitely achievable for others through consideration of a range of factors such as: comparative capital and operational costs; geography and proximity of existing infrastructure; understanding of pollution risk from current and historical commercial/industrial activity in the catchment; an effective team, as such a project can bring significant change; and staff expertise including being able to consider and implement specialised consultancy advice.” It is recognised that a key reason for the stormwater harvesting to potable schemes being delivered in Orange was that there was a water shortage crisis. However, successful demonstrations like what was achieved in Orange, and ongoing research and development of supporting guidelines and policies will help make stormwater to potable standard practice in the future.

STORMWATER

Pioneering stormwater harvesting for potable use in Australia

Other positive impacts include: •

Up to 25 per cent of drinking water in Orange can be supplied by stormwater harvested from urban areas

29 per cent of drinking water can be replaced with treated stormwater via dual water systems in homes in Ploughmans Valley and North Orange

Monitoring has shown that the treated stormwater quality is predominately better than the water quality in the main water supply dam

The inclusion of constructed wetlands in the Ploughmans Creek Catchment has increased amenity for those living near those locations and for residents that pass through the area via the pathways that link to other areas of the city. Council employs staff dedicated to the maintenance and community engagement aspects of the wetlands

The inclusion of constructed wetlands in the Ploughmans Creek Catchment has also provided improved biodiversity and water quality

Water Care

Reduce chlorate levels for healthier drinking water Switch to the dry chlorine feeder system using hth® briquettes

Constant Chlor® Chlorination Systems provide an easy and cost-effective alternative to liquid or gas chlorination systems. The Barcaldine Regional Council in Queensland removed their liquid sodium hypochlorite system and discovered: – – – – –

A simple and easy-to-install system Lower cost of ownership Reduced chlorate levels Longer product shelf life More consistent level of free chlorine in their final drinking water Learn more about the Barcaldine story at lonzawatertreatment.com.au

UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

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STORMWATER

Utility Partner Solutions

Achieving more precise measurements

WITH 80GHZ RADAR LEVEL TRANSMITTERS VEGA is the experienced supplier of level and pressure sensors for water and wastewater treatment. Radar sensors provide reliable and accurate continuous level readings, providing the basis for monitoring the flow in the sewer system and helping to protect against flooding. In a stormwater overflow basin, the radar sensor is used for level and overflow volume measurement.

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he use of the radar level transmitter for the process industry started back in 1991. These were extremely large units and operated with a 6GHz frequency. The units were sold generally into liquid applications and were only ever considered when no other technology would work. They were a large unit weighing in at several kilograms and operated only from an AC supply. In 1997, VEGA released the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first true loop powered radar level transmitter, offering a more suitable transmitter for typical process applications, although still with limitations. The year 1999 saw the release of the 26GHz radar level transmitter, offering a smaller unit with a reduced antenna size and narrower beam angle (a downside to lower frequencies is the larger beam angle). VEGA continued to develop and improve radar level transmitter performance through the first decade of 2000. The main changes were in the software area where, thanks to customer feedback, the parameters for setup were improved, and became much more descriptive and userfriendly. As with all developments, there is a point where the components and physics of the technology have been maximised. At this stage VEGA started research on the 80GHz frequency range. This frequency was not completely new to the market as

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it was, and still is, quite common in the automotive industry with reversing sensors. During the research and development of this frequency, VEGA carried out a number of real-life customer trials and the results of these opened up many more opportunities for the use of the radar that had never been practical before. It also allowed for antenna sizing for the first time and adaption to many typical processes that exist in industry. One thing to note in regards to radar frequencies is that as you increase the frequency, the antenna size and the beam angle reduce. Radar level transmitters work on the reflection of the signal from the product being measured and the strength of that returned signal is based in the Dielectric Constant (Conductivity). In the past, radar was not considered to be suitable for applications that had a relatively low DC value. Eighty GHz now allows these measurements to take place, but, of course, there are other considerations. As well as high frequency, quality components that provide very good sensitivity or dynamic range are also essential. Up to this point, radar level transmitters have typically had a dynamic range of around 90db â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that was until the VEGAPULS 64 (for liquids) and the VEGAPULS 69 (for solids) were developed.

UTILITY â&#x20AC;˘ AUGUST 2018

VEGA now manufactures a radar level transmitter with a dynamic range of 120db, an increase of 30db. Similarly to audio, for every increase of 3db, the power is doubled. With an increase of 30db, the VEGA 80GHz radar level transmitter is able to provide over 1000 times the sensitivity of previous and existing radar frequencies. With this increase, VEGA transmitters are now able to measure extremely low DC products such as plastics. Radar level transmitters, like all instrumentation, do have their limitations, many of which are set by the physics of the technology. It is very important to take into account not just the frequency but all the data when evaluating whether a transmitter is suitable for the application. At VEGA, 80GHz has proven to be a large step forward in solving difficult applications. We have developed a model for liquid applications and a model for solids applications, as you need different algorithms for different types of process medium. Radar level transmitters are now a very accepted form of non-contact level measurement and the use of these units has increased by many times over the past decade. As with all developments, it is not over yet and VEGA will continue to improve the transmitters so that in the near future we again break the barriers faced previously and open up the opportunities for radar to solve more and more applications.

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


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For the latest generation of radars, condensate on the sensor is not an issue. Totally unaffected by condensation or buildup on the antenna, VEGAPULS 64 accurately detects the liquid level. With the smallest antenna of its kind and exceptional focusing, it delivers outstanding performance every time. Simply world-class! www.vega.com/radar

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IoT AND SCADA

Utility Partner Solutions

LPWAN TECHNOLOGY EXTENDS THE REACH OF SCADA FOR SEWERAGE NETWORKS by Mark Halliwell, Taggle Systems

The advent of Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) over the past few years has prompted a lot of discussion about smart water meters and automatic meter reading (AMR). There have been many papers written, views expressed and positions debated about the benefits of AMR data collected by LPWAN technology. Now, after seven or eight years of debate, a number of Australian water service providers (WSP) have moved beyond the initial uncertainty and have implemented AMR systems with considerable success. Most of these are using Taggle’s well-proven LPWAN.

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ith AMR well and truly established, providing visibility on the performance of water reticulation assets for the first time, attention is now moving to the other reticulation network that draws heavily on councils’ annual operating budgets; the sewerage network. As essential as supplying water might be, managing wastewater is just as important but seldom discussed outside the circle of engineers tasked with maintaining this system. Like their water supply brethren, sewerage engineers have had little or no day-to-day visibility of their in-ground assets prior to the introduction of LPWAN communications. For many, the first indication of a problem is when a concerned resident complains about an overflow from a manhole or worse, a discharge into a creek or waterway. The consequences are often messy and expensive, and some require a report, and maybe paying a hefty fine, to a state environmental protection agency, something to be avoided wherever possible.

HOW CAN ACCESS TO A LOW POWER WIDE AREA NETWORK HELP? Simple and relatively low cost, LPWAN capable sensors installed across the sewerage network can open a new window into its daily behaviour. Let’s look at just a few to see what can be achieved. Sewer overflow sensors installed in manholes, in the form of dual low-tech float switches fitted with LPWAN transmitters, provide early indication of rising levels that can be fed directly into SCADA systems. These sensors alert operators to potential problems in near real time, ensuring response crews can be mobilised quickly and reportable events avoided. Being low cost, these sensors can be installed at many more places than their more expensive 3G counterparts, making surveillance of the entire network much more

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affordable. With data available in DNP3 format, setting them up in most SCADA systems is a breeze. Add in a number of tipping bucket rain gauges with LPWAN transmitters and the potential savings grow significantly. Having hourly local rainfall data and combining it with rising sewage levels observed across the network provides engineers and operators with essential clues as to the existence of inflow or infiltration. The rate of level rise and timing after heavy rainfall can help identify which of the two problems exists. Rapid level rises suggest inflow whereas slower level rises indicate infiltration as being the culprit. Knowing this can help an engineer decide which type of testing to employ and potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars on wasted testing services. Pressure and vacuum sewerage networks often encounter problems when power is lost or a baffle is stuck open. In many cases, a flashing light is used to raise the alert but they’re not always seen immediately and the fault may take some time and effort to locate. By including a low-cost LPWAN transmitter, the alert can be routed to a SCADA system almost instantly. The location is identified and action can be taken immediately. Again, being of such low cost, these devices can be deployed widely, providing much greater visibility than before. Low Power Wide Area Networks like the ones offered by Taggle Systems are now becoming an essential part of enhanced SCADA systems. They provide low-cost communication options for sensors that previously were just uneconomical to install. Access to wider data sets afforded by having more sensors deployed provides much clearer context for operators and engineers responsible for the safe and efficient operation of both water and wastewater systems. Decisions can be made based on better information with greater confidence. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


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IoT AND SCADA

Utility Partner Solutions

INTEGRATING IoT INTO OPERATIONS TO MAXIMISE EFFICIENCY We are operating in a time when virtually anything can be connected to the internet, creating a global network of physical devices that are collecting and sharing data – referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT can offer huge benefits for utilities, such as optimising asset performance, enhancing the customer experience and improving operational efficiency, but integration within current systems and processes can be a challenge.

I

oT has grown significantly over the last decade, but utilities have been slow to realise its advantages. Part of the problem comes from many utilities being unsure how to integrate IoT into their current systems and processes. Some organisations invest in an IoT platform, which must then be integrated with various core enterprise applications such as CRM, procurement and field service. IoT platforms must handle problems like connecting and extracting data from a potentially vast number and variety of endpoints, which are sometimes in inconvenient locations with spotty connectivity. Gavin Evans, CEO of ConnectiX Technologies, said that this can create a major capital outlay, and with hundreds of different platforms to choose from, can leave utilities uncertain of the best solution. “ConnectiX was developed to enable you to utilise your existing systems, whilst allowing collaboration with your supply chain on disparate systems, at low cost. Based on Cloud Platforms, including IBM Bluemix platform, ConnectiX takes advantage of numerous emerging IBM technologies, all available to you without major capital outlay. “Use of the ConnectiX IoT aggregate platform avoids vendor lock, maximises use of emerging technologies and communications networks, and allows seamless integration into your organisation’s current systems.” While utilities can use the numerous software offerings available to solve individual problems, ConnectiX is the only integration solution that can solve all of them in the one platform. It provides a single entry point across the back office and supply chain with users only needing to connect once, rather than every time a new product is introduced. “ConnectiX aims to enable simple development, exchange

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UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

and actioning of information across supply chains. Using leading edge technologies including Internet of Things, AI and blockchain, ConnectiX can seamlessly connect you to your assets, suppliers and clients.” Mr Evans said.

CREATING A COLLABORATIVE SPACE FOR THE WHOLE SUPPLY CHAIN IoT offers utilities a number of opportunities to connect with their customers, their assets and their supply chain. It provides incredible insights and data that utilities can harness to make more informed decisions, as well as gain information on how to better deliver services, manage infrastructure and meet consumer needs. Mr Evans said that ConnectiX allows ready connection to multiple IoT devices and applications without the need to embrace new systems and communication networks, improving data sharing and information exchange. “Remote sensors and devices can be captured across your supply chain and integrated into your current systems, giving real-time visibility, access and control. Both remote and organisational information can be shared in real time with contractors, consultants and field staff without the need for a common workforce management system.” ConnectiX can be launched on any internet enabled smart device, allowing everyone to use their own device – whether it be iOS, Android or Windows – and eliminating the need to mandate a particular device across the internal and external workforce. ConnectiX also meets the strictest security standards with data being hosted in T4 certified data centres. It is SCC compliant, with SecOps and ASIO clearance, and passes Australia’s strict sovereignty rules.

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


Collaborating with your supply chain to achieve your full potential

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IoT AND SCADA

TRANSFORMING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AGAINST A BACKDROP OF CHANGE by Anne Weatherston, Executive â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Technology and Change, EnergyAustralia

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IoT AND SCADA UTILITY â&#x20AC;¢ AUGUST 2018

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IoT AND SCADA

Transforming the customer experience against a backdrop of change

There was a time when customers had no choice when it came to energy. They didn’t have the option of solar, central or independent, from whom and at what price. In this historic context, EnergyAustralia’s core business was once the generation of energy from large power stations, predominantly fuelled by coal and gas, and the supply of that output to homes and businesses. We were the classic gentailer at a time when energy was boring and we viewed an asset as the heart of the business – not the customer. In the face of technology alternatives and new entrants to our sector, each with different propositions, this model ceases to exist.

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oday the sector is changing. Retailers – including EnergyAustralia – must adapt and lead this effort because customers expect more of us. Our new strategy and identity has necessitated a whole of business transformation. It’s a journey we have been on for more than three years. Back in 2015, one immediate change was the creation of a business unit solely focused on the development of next generation products and services. This business, NextGen, encouraged the mindset of a startup; an incubator to advance our strategy by innovative means. We made changes in our company structure with greater emphasis placed on customer-facing roles. New skills were recruited across the group, many from telecommunications, an industry that had undergone similar disruption. To guide their activities, we defined a new IT strategy to support the capability required of our new customer-centric business. This strategy is moving EnergyAustralia from the single activity of billing to a full-function retailer, able to rapidly scale, evolve and respond as new market and customer requirements emerge. An initial and high priority was the design and implementation of a new data and analytics platform that would, in time, provide insights to inform all our activities as they relate to the customer. Telling you something about our desire to move with pace, in 2016 we won an award at Oracle OpenWorld for the fastest global implementation of the Oracle Hadoop platform. A further award followed for our innovative approach to database design. While our customer interactions today are still predominantly through the contact centre, we are committed to delivering an experience that meets customers’ expectation for exceptional service. Today we view these digital assets with equal importance to our generation fleet.

USING TECHNOLOGY TO BETTER CONNECT WITH CUSTOMERS In 2017, we launched a new interactive gas and electricity online bill to make it easier for families and

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businesses to manage their accounts, and understand exactly how much they’re paying for energy. It’s about putting the customer back in control of their energy so they save money, even if that means using less. In 2018, we were pleased to receive the highest average overall score by international consumer research agency Global Reviews. Three years running we have ranked first in the index across the desktop and mobile categories, compared with energy retailers in Australia, the United Kingdom and Ireland. These platforms are the window to our business and it’s now an expectation within our industry to keep pace. We need to keep optimising and refining the online experience; to never become complacent. Our business can’t deliver the next wave of energy innovation on its own, so we’re actively seeking out the best and brightest new startups to partner with. We launched a new accelerator program in partnership with Startupbootcamp. In an Australian first, ten energy startups participating in the global accelerator program recently pitched their ideas aimed at finding solutions to the “trilemma”: security, affordability and sustainability. We will be progressing further trials with at least three groups. One example of a technology-based partnership we have formed is with Redback Technology, a Brisbanebased startup. Together we have brought to market the Redback Smart Hybrid System, which offers insights to the customer on when to use their solar or draw on their battery; when to sell into the grid and when to import from it. We are also involved in a government-backed pilot to deliver 50 megawatt (MW) of demand response in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales. To put that into context, 50MW is about the level of capacity you need to power 12,500 homes.

INVESTIGATING NEW FORMS OF GENERATION At the other end of the spectrum, we are investigating partnerships to help us find alternative and sustainable sources of supply. We’re exploring new approaches, like energy recovery and a pumped hydro storage facility – both Australian firsts.

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


Together with Re.Group, we are assessing the viability of augmenting the 1400MW Mt Piper Power Station in New South Wales with lower emissions generation. This project involves unlocking the energy in ordinary, nonrecyclable household waste. Meanwhile, the seawater pumped hydro project with partner Arup Group would be the first of its kind. Proposed for South Australia, the facility has potential to produce 225MW of electricity, with around eight hours of storage. All this from pumping water up a hill when supply exceeds

IoT AND SCADA

Transforming the customer experience against a backdrop of change

demand, and releasing it to generate electricity when needed. Both technologies combine a traditional energy approach but in a new context. We like to think they’re a metaphor for a future in which a business like ours, one with a long history in traditional forms of energy, can evolve to become part of what will be an exciting energy system. It’s a destination where not one customer will be left behind.

Anne Weatherston is an experienced leader of business and IT transformation. She has worked in this capacity across a variety of industries with extensive financial services experience and most recently, the energy sector. She is currently the Technology and Change Executive. In this role Anne is responsible for oversight of the company’s change agenda which is focused on transforming EnergyAustralia from a generator of energy to becoming a world-class retailer, providing next generation products and services to serve customers.

“SWEP [utilising Verge IoT products] has helped schools avoid losses of over 4 billion litres of water” Executive Director Policy, Governance and Legislation Victorian Government

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ASSET MANAGEMENT

ASSET MANAGEMENT DRIVING SYDNEY WATER’S FUTURE by Corinne Cheeseman, Head of Asset Knowledge and Paul Higham, Head of Service Planning and Asset Strategy, Sydney Water

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WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


ASSET MANAGEMENT

Sydney Water has a 130 year history of asset management good practice and manages more than $60 billion of infrastructure assets to deliver world-class, essential services to its customers. To support its continuous improvement journey, the whole business will be looking towards aligning practices and standards, and better monitoring asset performance.

S

ustainable asset management is an essential enabler to achieve Sydney Water’s vision. We are committed to managing and operating our assets so that they effectively and efficiently provide services that deliver the right quality and quantity of water; manage wastewater and stormwater; examines resource risk and opportunity, as well as contributing to the liveability of the city. Our approach has been a combination of people, process and information initiatives over the past few years, which has seen Sydney Water achieve increased asset management capability. This has led to improved outcomes for our customers.

PEOPLE: DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION People are our most important asset and, with an aging workforce at Sydney Water and changes in customer expectations, we need to tap into a range of talent and improve our culture. One of the ways Sydney Water is doing this is by focusing on gender diversity. Sydney Water launched its Diversity and Inclusion Plan in 2016 and has introduced gender diversity metrics which are reported monthly at the Sydney Water Executive level. Several cross-organisation programs have targeted diversity issues over the past two years, including: • • • • •

Establishment of a Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce Women in MBA Program in partnership with the Macquarie Graduate School of Management, where Sydney Water is providing three scholarships to women Gender diversity workshops by Dr Michael Kimmel, who advocates engaging men and women in gender equality issues Mandated 50 per cent women successors for leadership positions in succession plans Target to achieve a zero per cent gender pay gap by 2020 – Sydney Water’s current gender pay gap is three per cent, compared to an average 17.7 per cent across other water utilities

UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

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ASSET MANAGEMENT

Asset management driving Sydney Water’s future

As a result, Sydney Water has achieved measurable improvements in women in leadership with more than a 10 per cent increase in females moving into leadership roles in the past two years. Sydney Water is also on track to achieve its 40 per cent ‘women in leadership’ target by 2020. This positions Sydney Water to respond to a challenging external environment with significant growth and enables us to be innovative by attracting and retaining the talent needed for planning and delivering new water solutions for Sydney.

PROCESS: ASSET RENEWALS Sydney Water has improved unplanned and ad-hoc treatment plant asset renewals to provide greater transparency and longer lead time for scheduling work and forecasting investment needs. Unplanned projects generally cost more to deliver, consume more resources and create safety and environmental hazards. Asset renewal at Sydney Water aims to maintain our assets so that they deliver the agreed level of service, at an acceptable level of risk and lowest lifecycle cost, which collectively delivers maximum customer value. The renewals planning process was designed to use asset ‘consequence of failure’ and condition assessment grade to trigger asset renewals and generate prudent rolling investment plans for treatment plant assets. The three key drivers for the process design were: • Customer value and transparency • Risk and asset lifecycle management • Operational efficiency and effectiveness of key asset management processes The renewals planning process aligns with our asset management policy and forms part of our asset management system. Sydney Water has committed to our regulator that our asset management systems will be consistent with ISO 55000 by June 2018 and certified by June 2019. Financial, productivity and strategic benefits were delivered through the project to improve the renewals planning process, including a more robust allocation of funds to assets over a five year period. Over this time, $470 million was allocated to renewals through capital expenditure, with a $150 million overhaul of operation expenses. Sydney Water is now looking to standardise the process across all asset classes. This enables us to justify the right investment on the right asset at the right time, and has reduced costs to the business. INFORMATION: DATA DRIVEN ASSET MANAGEMENT Sydney Water produces and uses data, information, content, records and knowledge to manage its assets. This includes information held within asset management information systems; the geospatial representation of assets; models; drawings and other content such as photographs, video and reports. Asset information is categorised into eight layers to organise information and represent inter-relationships (Figure 1).

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UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

FIGURE 1 ASSET INFORMATION LAYERS

The information layers are: What – Descriptive asset information including physical and functional data Where – Location data relating to physical and geospatial attributes Capability – The ability for an asset to perform activities or specified tasks Work – Information related to future or historic maintenance activities Utilisation – Data related to the efficiency of use for assets Performance – Time dependent measures of how the network, system and asset is performing against the targeted outputs Condition – Time dependent state of an asset throughout the asset lifecycle Cost – Finance data related to capital acquisition, operation, maintenance and cost of disposal to determine whole of life cost of an asset Sydney Water identifies information used to support key business processes and asset management decision making and develops corresponding data standards to ensure this information is governed. These standards enable Sydney Water to apply a consistent way to capture, update and monitor asset information throughout its lifecycle. Sydney Water uses its data quality capability to regularly report compliance with the standards and to identify targeted programs to improve data quality.

THE FUTURE Our asset management capability of people, processes and information enables Sydney Water to deliver on our corporate objectives and commitments to our customers and stakeholders through our assets now and into the future.

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


ASSET MANAGEMENT

Asset management driving Sydney Water’s future

Corinne Cheeseman is the Head of Asset Knowledge at Sydney Water. She has over 20 years’ experience in the water industry having worked at water utilities, in the private sector and with national bodies. Corinne has built and led data and analytics teams that have increased the use and access of data and insights for planning, building and managing assets at Sydney Water. Paul Higham is the Head of Service Planning and Asset Strategy, which supports Sydney Water’s infrastructure investment portfolio and drives the development partnerships that contribute to Sydney’s liveability and growth. Paul has more than 20 years’ experience in regulated and non-regulated businesses across the whole asset value chain, including strategy and planning, asset acquisition, operations management and maintenance delivery.

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UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

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ASSET MANAGEMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

Smart digital solutions: BEYOND ENERGY SAVINGS

Energy costs can be a major drain on the operation budgets of water utilities, but smart digital network management tools can deliver real impact on the bottom line. SUEZ’s proven AQUADVANCED® Energy technology targets cost savings while powering significant gains in energy efficiency and water quality.

A

QUADVANCED® Energy is a unique real-time optimisation system for water distribution networks. It schedules and automates the operation of pumps and valves, bringing down energy costs while maximising operational performance, water quality and energy efficiency, and improving environmental outcomes. “With energy costs second only to labour as a major component of operational expenditure, AQUADVANCED® Energy offers a truly innovative solution for utilities to drive real savings across whole networks,” General Manager, Operations East for SUEZ in Australia, Mark Lautre, explained. “It’s part of an advanced suite of smart digital solutions that we’re putting to work for water utilities to deliver substantial cost reductions and dramatically improve the performance of their assets.” In the United Kingdom, the Northumbrian Water Group (NWG) became the first European water utility to implement AQUADVANCED® Energy in March 2011. With an extensive network of 57 water treatment works, 338 water service reservoirs and more than 25,000km of water mains serving a combined population of 4.5 million, the group spent the equivalent of more than $54 million on energy per annum prior to installing the solution.

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While the acquisition was driven primarily by the need to minimise, manage and predict energy costs, Northumbrian Water has realised benefits far beyond what they had anticipated. “The implementation initially targeted the equivalent of around $1.75 million per annum in energy savings for Northumbrian Water, primarily through more efficient pump scheduling,” Mark said. “These targets were exceeded quite early on, with almost $652,000 in energy cost savings realised in a single year on the first third of the network delivered to that point. The complete visibility offered by the improved data also allowed NWG to accurately model energy requirements, which they could use to negotiate more favourable energy supply contracts.” AQUADVANCED® Energy leverages existing investments in SCADA and telemetry systems to read live data and issue commands to pumps and valves throughout an entire distribution system, constantly adapting it as things change. It drives optimal operational consistency, resilience and water quality to deliver first-class water, when and where it is needed most. The comprehensive and immediate data delivered by the system has played a key role in boosting operational efficiency and performance across Northumbrian Water’s entire network.

UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

The system rapidly identifies underperforming assets such as pumps and control valves to facilitate more effective maintenance and replacement programs, conserving infrastructure for long-term cost savings. Having a centralised, powerful software tool also allows greater support of individual operators across the group’s extensive network of sites, delivering more consistency, predictability and control. These less tangible benefits have made a major impact beyond energy cost optimisation in the management of complex water networks – not just for Northumbrian Water, but for other utilities around the world. The technology is unique and ripe for application in the Australian market, and SUEZ AQUADVANCED® Energy is already in use at Unitywater and is attracting great interest in the domestic water sector. “We’re currently working with two major water utilities on local trials of the solution, with promising results thus far,” Mark said. “The significant reduction in the generation of greenhouse gases experienced by existing users consuming less power will also replicate easily given the CO2 contribution from coal-fired power plants in Australia.”

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


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ASSET MANAGEMENT

SMARTER PIPES,

LONGER LIFE

Smart robotics could soon be used to extend the life of pipes in Australia and around the world thanks to a $3 million research project into smart lining for pipes funded by the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre Projects stream.

E

xecutive Director of the Water Services Association of Australia, Adam Lovell, said, “Water utilities around the world manage water and sewerage infrastructure to provide the most essential of the essential services. “In Australia, we have over 260,000km of water and sewerage pipes – enough to go around the earth more than six times. Around 70 per cent of it is underground and often forgotten, until there is a pipe burst under a major road. The inconvenience it creates is a growing issue in our busy cities and towns, but replacing kilometres of pipe is a very costly exercise. “Many water and sewer pipes in our cities and towns are approaching the end of their life and to completely replace them can cost thousands of dollars per metre. Water utilities can potentially keep customer bills down by using new materials or new smart robotics and sensors in repairing pipes instead of replacing them. “With limited budgets for asset replacements, the global water industry is required to do more with less; it needs to be more innovative to develop products to extend infrastructure ‘end of life’.”

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Pipe lining technology has the potential to substantially increase the service life of pipes by up to 50 years at lower cost. Over the past five years, liner products have been introduced to the market, tested individually, but not widely adopted by the industry. Lining has had limited market penetration which can be attributed to limited demonstrable long-term performance, consistent standards and specifications. This project also presents an innovative opportunity for Australia to incorporate smart technology such as non-invasive sensing into lining products. The global market opportunity for smart lining products is significant, and estimated at more than $60 billion over the next 10 years, conservatively assuming linings are 10 per cent of pipe renewals. Australia represents five per cent of this market, so expanding market opportunities for Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) offers huge potential. In addition to this, other benefits include improved public and environmental health benefits by minimising pipe bursts and leaks, lower costs of water to customers, and the potential for SMEs to sell lining and sensing products to other applications or industries such as oil and gas, and marine.

UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

“The market opportunity is significant, however there are currently no clear performance and application guidelines and standards in Australia. This has resulted in limited uptake of the technology and therefore investment of Australian SMEs in lining innovations,” Mr Lovell said. “We have an opportunity with this project to improve knowledge in these products and applications, enabling the development of industry standards, specifications and tools, and confirming the demand for lining technologies.”

DELIVERING INNOVATION THROUGH COLLABORATION With the award of an extra $3 million Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) grant from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, the project will see collaboration across the globe with 30 project partners. Led by the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA), a team of manufacturers, applicators, utilities and research organisations have partnered to provide a project with positive outcomes for SMEs, water industry and the Australian economy. The participants include 11 Australian water utilities, 14 lining manufacturers and applicators,

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


ASSET MANAGEMENT

academic researchers across three Australian universities, the US-based Water Research Foundation (WRF), and United Kingdom Water Industry Research. Manager – Networks at Sydney Water, Gary Hurley, said, “As the largest Australian water utility, we look forward to governing the project partnership, providing water industry leadership to the other ten Australian utility partners and the two international research partners representing the US and UK. “Three Australian universities, Monash, University of Technology Sydney and Sydney University, will provide the research and work in collaboration with the lining industry partners to improve specifications, standards, products and services. “Sydney Water has almost 50,000km of wastewater and water pipes in its network and this project will help to prolong the life of these assets, which will help to deliver an even more reliable water and wastewater service, and lessen future customer disruption through reduced repairs and replacements.” The research activities of the project, running from March 2018 until the end of 2021, are designed to improve the understanding of product performance,

improve utility asset management and provide Australian SMEs and manufacturers with a globally competitive advantage through development of know-how, services, standards and smart tools. The project partners will solve the problem of limited knowledge of long-term liner performance and take advantage of the innovation opportunity to incorporate smart technologies by achieving these technical deliverables: • Develop industry standards and guidance documents •

Perform analytical tests for validation and testing of lining

Field-test liners

Develop and test multi-sensor robot prototypes

The first of the field tests has recently begun with a smart liner installed by project participants Ventia and South East Water. The month-long trial in Rowville, Victoria, sees the

UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

renewal of a redundant asbestos cement water main using Aqua-Pipe CIPP liner, installing 1100m of DN 100 and DN 150 liner. For this trial, a custom-made 88mm liner was developed for the Melbourne market to match the smaller asbestos pipes found in this region. The condition of the liner will continue to be monitored over the duration of the project. The overall project is valued at more than $24 million, with funding provided by 26 diverse local and international partners across the water utility, construction materials and non-profit water research sectors, and is expected to position Australia as a global leader in smart water infrastructure design, engineering, testing and management. The additional funding from the Cooperative Research Centre Projects program allows for industry-led collaboration for up to three years, to develop new technologies, products and services.

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Utility Partner Solutions

Future focused innovation:

HOW GIS TECHNOLOGY SAVED

A BILLION LITRES OF WATER With unseasonable weather patterns, and issues around using more water than was being captured or stored, the city of Darwin was faced with a big challenge – expend on capital infrastructure to build a new dam and potentially increase water costs for residents, or avoid this by looking to conserve and preserve as much water as possible.

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“Initially we found one in every eight homes had a leak. So far, we’ve fixed 3000 of them, saving more than one billion litres of leaking water per year,” Power and Water Corporation’s Water Efficiency Project Manager for the Living Water Smart program, Tori Hampton, said.

THE CHALLENGE Power and Water Corporation saw that water lost through leakage was a major contributor to water wastage. To tackle the problem, the corporation first needed to identify where the leaks were. This involved updating its infrastructure and maintenance information to provide operational and asset management teams with the data needed to make informed decisions regarding its maintenance program. At the heart of this update was the checking of around 30,000 residential water meters for signs of leaks. To undertake this task effectively, Power and Water Corporation needed a mobile, reliable and user-friendly data collection system that would allow its team of leak checkers and 18 different plumbing companies to receive and capture data out in the field. It also needed to be able to integrate this information back into its existing corporate systems for further analysis.

THE SOLUTION Central to Power and Water Corporation’s solution were two user-friendly, mobile mapping applications that plumbers and the corporation’s own leak checkers used to record relevant data accurately in the field and upload it to an operations centre in real time. With each group using their own purpose-built survey app, leak checkers recorded the locations and volumes of leaks, while plumbers subsequently recorded the leak repair and confirmed the volume. By replacing tasks previously conducted using a pad and pen, the apps have vastly improved efficiency and data quality by standardising data collection and removing paper trails. Additionally, should there be any future incidents, asset data can now be instantly accessed, enabling many issues to be resolved from the office instead of sending another contractor to the site. The apps have also empowered the plumbing sector to carry out Power and Water Corporation’s sustainability objective of saving water through fixing leaks. Simply using the app has built awareness in the industry about leak identification and repair, thereby extending the longevity of the program. It is hoped that leak checks will become ‘business as usual’ for the Darwin plumbing sector and residents, as they now understand the sheer volume of water that is wasted and subsequent water costs that result.

ower and Water Corporation is responsible for water and sewerage services across the Northern Territory, an area of more than 1.3 million square kilometres. In the Darwin region, water resources are under greater pressure than ever before. Through its Living Water Smart program, Power and Water Corporation has completed more than 700 residential water audits and 50 commercial and government audits. The audits showed that approximately 15 per cent of Darwin’s water consumption was the result of leaks. To specifically target this water waste in a cost-effective way, Power and Water Corporation designed the Community Leak Program to reduce leaks in the region whilst increasing community awareness of the water and money wasted.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT

Utility Partner Solutions

The data has also provided Power and Water Corporation’s operational and asset management teams with vital technology infrastructure and maintenance information that now informs decision-making across the board. This groundbreaking innovation has been recognised on a global scale, with Power and Water Corporation being awarded the prestigious Special Achievement in GIS award (SAG) by founder of Esri, Jack Dangermond. Inspired by the amazing results achieved by Power and Water Corporation, utilities across the globe are following Darwin’s lead, creating similar spatial technology-based programs. “By using this software, we saved the cost of two full-time administration resources and an external consultant: around $200,000,” Ms Hampton said. PHOTO CREDIT: POWER AND WATER CORPORATION

“The app will also be extended to existing and future programs – such as field auditing on vital power and water assets – which will dramatically reduce data handling,” Ms Hampton said.

THE INNOVATION The award-winning Living Water Smart program used highly successful mobility applications that were the first of their kind in Australia. The apps were recognised and highlighted as a key innovation at the industry-leading OzWater conference, and have been roundly praised by government, utility and plumbing sector stakeholders. By replacing old technology infrastructure, surveying and monitoring processes, the apps revolutionised data collection for Power and Water Corporation by allowing field workers to enter information directly into the system in real time. This significantly raised efficiency, data integrity and reduced costly double-handling and multiple visits to the same site.

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THE OUTCOME The solution has been a central contributor to Power and Water Corporation’s efforts to improve Darwin’s sustainable water future and deliver financial savings for its customers and the community at large. Key outcomes include: • Repairing nearly 3000 leaks and saving more than a billion litres of leaking water per year • Reducing water bills by $2 million per year • Automating data integration processes, saving around $200,000 in personnel costs • Broadened and strengthened relationships with the other government agencies and the local plumbing industry, with all parties benefiting from collaborative knowledge and skill sharing • Significantly building awareness across stakeholders and implementing a culture within the plumbing industry of acting against water loss and wastage Find out more about how GIS is changing the water utility industry at www.esriaustralia.com.au/savewater.

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A JOURNEY INTO

ISO 55001 CERTIFICATION

Evoenergy owns and operates 2358km² of electricity network and over 4563km of gas mains. Its networks supply electricity to over 190,000 residential and business customers across the ACT and 130,000 gas customers in the ACT and NSW. The utility achieved ISO 55001 certification in January 2018 after overhauling its asset management system, resulting in improved operational efficiencies and reduced costs.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT

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reviously known as ActewAGL, the organisation rebranded its electricity and gas networks business to Evoenergy in January 2018 after the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) introduced new naming guidelines in November 2017. The name change is to help avoid customer confusion over the retail and infrastructure arms of ActewAGL. ActewAGL will continue as the retail brand, selling electricity and gas and looking after billing and customer enquiries. In the same month as the name change, Evoenergy also achieved a huge milestone in asset management — ISO 55001 certification.

ISO 55001 specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an organisation’s asset management system, providing validation that the organisation has a proactive, continuous improvement culture focused on improved efficiencies and enhanced performance. Mike Schulzer, Principal Engineer, Asset Management Systems at Evoenergy, was given the job of assessing the maturity of Evoenergy’s former asset management system against the standard and determining where the deficiencies were. “It was then a matter of preparing documents and systems to meet the deficiencies, or informing those parts of the organisation that were not meeting the standard on how to make the upgrade,” Mr Schulzer said. “It was also important to map Evoenergy’s capabilities against ISO 55001 to be able to demonstrate to the auditor how we met the standard.” Evoenergy underwent a complete restructure of its asset management system to meet the requirements of ISO 55001, designing a new system that included better risk management and better prioritisation of investment. “The basis of the restructure was changing the way assets were managed from a time-based service, maintenance and replacement program to one that was based on risk. In order to do that, emphasis was placed on understanding the criticality of our assets and their condition,” Mr Schulzer said. “Instead of routine overhauls, the condition of critical assets is now assessed with instrumentation, and intervention only takes place where required. Where the failure of an asset doesn’t affect our customers because of backup, we run those assets to the end of their life before replacing them for optimum economy. Our maintenance budget is now based on evidence of the condition of our assets rather than the previous budget with an escalation factor.”

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THE PATHWAY TO ESTABLISHING A NEW ASSET MANAGEMENT SYSTEM The main challenge Evoenergy faced in meeting the certification requirements was implementing change in an industry that, historically, has been slow to adopt new innovations and ways of doing things. “The electricity distribution industry is conservative by nature. We provide an essential service, take safeguards in dealing with a dangerous substance and manage expensive assets with long lifespans. The challenge is that changes in our business need to be proven to be safe and effective before they are implemented,” Mr Schulzer said. “Fortunately, the employees in Evoenergy are experienced and highly qualified, and understand how to implement these changes and manage risk at the same time. The changes were made at a deliberate pace, with plenty of consultation and change management at each stage.” Mr Schulzer said that the main benefit of implementing ISO 55001 is the assurance that the assets of the organisation are being managed to the requirements of the owners and stakeholders. “This means attaining a balance of cost, risk and performance, and providing assurance to the entire organisation on how to achieve that balance, and demonstrating to top management that it has indeed been achieved. “ISO 55001 also demands that the organisation is on a continual learning curve, and that cost, risk and performance is improved, year on year.”

Mr Schulzer had the following advice for other utilities looking to achieve ISO 55001: • Ensure top management support. In the long run, top management needs to be supportive of asset management development, and be willing to implement the eight key activities suggested by John Kotter in Leading Change. It is accepted that top management will inevitably be distracted with disruptions, restructures and new management trends, but development can continue to progress provided the right staff are assigned to continue the process • Dedicated long-term commitment is required by an asset management specialist (or team) that is prepared to use influence and opportunities to nudge the organisation in the right direction • Develop documentation that is well organised, defining the scope of, and covering all aspects of the asset management system • Develop sound asset information systems to support the asset management system • Undertake periodic, appropriate assessment and reports, including formal audits

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ASSET MANAGEMENT

Asset management in-depth:

UNDERSTANDING THE BATTLE

AGAINST CORROSION

Every utility company faces a different set of challenges depending on the scale of its operations, customer base and business methods. One problem that providers often have in common, however, is corrosion. Ahead of his appearance in the corrosion stream at Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure, running from 12-13 September in Sydney, Jim Hickey, Electrolysis Engineering Officer at Ausgrid, discusses the critical significance of corrosion and common mistakes he sees with its maintenance.

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he costs of damage, accidents and production losses related to corrosion are vast. NACE International’s 2016 International Measures of Prevention, Application and Economics of Corrosion Technology (IMPACT) study estimated the global cost of corrosion to be US$2.5 trillion (AU$3.2 trillion), or roughly 3.4 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product, of which 15-35 per cent (AU$490-$1,140 billion) was avoidable via effective corrosion prevention strategies.1 Mr Hickey is well acquainted with the uphill battle against corrosion that utility companies face. As an Australasian Corrosion Association (ACA) Corrosion Technologist, he has almost four decades of experience in the power utility industry and is a specialist in corrosion protection system interference assessment. Mr Hickey is one of four corrosion experts that will explore key asset management issues on the corrosion panel at the 2018 Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure Conference this September at Swissötel in Sydney. He joins fellow panelists Andrew Jones, Senior Asset Integrity Engineer at CNC Project Management; Brad Dockrill, Partner/Director, Vinsi Partners Consulting Engineers; and Simon Krismer, Principal Consultant at Krismer Consulting. The panel will examine the importance of correctly identifying environmental corrosion conditions, material selection and

JIM HICKEY, ELECTROLYSIS ENGINEERING OFFICER AT AUSGRID

design criteria for corrosion prevention, examples of various corrosion problems, and more. “Corrosion is one of the main threats to the longevity and integrity of utility assets. Managers have to use a proactive and long-term maintenance approach for these systems if they want to protect their assets,” Mr Hickey said. Corrosion is only one targeted stream at the Asset

https://inspectioneering.com/news/2016-03-08/5202/nace-study-estimates-global-cost-of-corrosion-at-25-trillion-ann

1

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ASSET MANAGEMENT

Management for Critical Infrastructure Conference, with delegates also having the opportunity to learn in-depth about trenchless technologies, renewables infrastructure and asset management in the rail sector in these targeted streams. This is in addition to individual presentations covering all aspects of the asset management sector across utilities and infrastructure, including sustainability, ISO 55001, asset management in the changing electricity sector, examples of trading risk for cost, digital twins and IoT techniques, and developing strategic asset management plans.

KNOW THE SOURCES Prevention and rehabilitation of corrosion will virtually always put less of a strain on organisations, communities and the environment compared to rebuilding. Mr Hickey said if an organisation wants to create an effective prevention plan, the first step is to understand where the problem comes from. Sources of corrosion range from less-aggressive general atmospheric corrosion, to more aggressive galvanic corrosion, where electrical contact between different metals can cause rapid deterioration of the more active metal. The most destructive form of corrosion, however, is caused by stray current from DC power sources. Electrical current can leak from the power systems of electrified trains or industrial facilities and affect other structures, such as buried pipelines and cables that are nowhere near the source. “The most severe corrosion has been caused by stray current emitted from electrified traction systems,” Mr Hickey said. “Large magnitude DC current can dissolve metallic structures at extremely elevated rates.” Part of the issue with assessing risk is a simple lack of visibility. It’s common to underestimate the seriousness of corrosion with assets that aren’t readily accessible. “It is far too easy for asset managers to divert blame for corrosion-related failures of underground and submerged assets to natural, unforeseen circumstances,” Mr Hickey said. Even if corrosion is effectively handled, it’s important for companies to fully understand its unrelenting nature. If they don’t, they may cut spending in the wrong place and expose themselves to serious consequences in the future. “When electrolysis corrosion is well managed, corrosion

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maintenance budgets unfortunately often become targets for cost savings. Organisations mistake low failure rates for low risk,” Mr Hickey said.

PROTECTION COMPETITION Another challenge in the fight against corrosion is the presence of neighbouring assets which may compete for protection rights. “Since all assets share the same ground, limitations may be applied on the application of corrosion prevention measures such as cathodic protection so as not to adversely affect other assets in the vicinity,” Mr Hickey said. “If a nearby asset (e.g. explosive contents such as high pressure gas or aerofuel pipelines) is deemed more critical, your ability to adequately protect your asset may be restricted.” Utility companies can mitigate asset protection conflicts by implementing asset management plans that have organisation-wide integration and support. When thinking strategically about corrosion plans, Mr Hickey advises asset managers to focus on two elements as priorities: continuous monitoring of an asset’s condition and performance, and quality design. “Good design is always the best approach in achieving the expected life of assets. Such design should include a recommended maintenance plan to be carried out by competent staff.” Today’s utility industry has the capability to accurately assess long-term degradation and implement productive maintenance solutions. While initial challenges may arise with constructing a thorough plan and integrating it with organisational policy, the cost and safety risks associated with the unforeseen corrosion-related failure of an asset are far more substantial.

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ASSET MANAGEMENT

Asset Management in-depth: understanding the battle against corrosion

Paul Higham

Rami Affan Kerry Brown Bonnie Ryan

David Singleton

Andrew O’Connor

Scott Stevens

Lutfiye Manli

HEAR FROM MORE ASSET MANAGEMENT EXPERTS Mr Hickey will join a high-quality lineup of speakers across the utility and infrastructure sectors at Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure 2018 to discuss the most pressing

Early bird prices end 17 August

issues in asset management. Speakers include: • Kerry Brown, Professor Of Employment and Industry, Edith Cowan University • Rami Affan, Executive Director, Asset Management, Infrastructure NSW • Paul Higham, Head of Service Planning & Asset Strategy, Sydney Water • Dr Lutfiye Manli, Senior Asset Management Strategy Advisor, Powerlink Queensland • David Singleton AM, Independent Director and Chair, Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia • Andrew O’Connor, Partner – Engineering and Asset Management, KPMG Australia • Bonnie Ryan, Senior Manager, GS1 Australia • Scott Stevens, Principal Engineer Civil, Operations & Service Delivery, Queensland Urban Utilities • And many more View the full program and speaker list at assetmanagementevent.com.au.

Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure 2018 12–13 September Swissôtel, Sydney

assetmanagement FOR CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

assetmanagementevent.com.au.

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TRENCHLESS TECHNOLOGY

UNITYWATER’S AWARD-WINNING

HORIZONTAL DIRECTIONAL DRILL When a sewerage main at the mouth of the Noosa River in Queensland failed, Unitywater needed to carry out emergency repairs while limiting impacts on customers and the environment. As the pipe had separated at the failure location, repair by relining was not possible and horizontal directional drilling (HDD) was considered the best chance at a successful outcome. Unitywater’s quick thinking and innovative NEIL PARISH AND SHELBI PATERSON response earned it the 2017 National Australasian Society for Trenchless Technology (ASTT) Project of the Year – New Installation award.

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he 30-year-old sewer rising main crossing Weyba Creek at the mouth of the Noosa River had originally been installed by trenching the pipe around two metres deep into the bed of the creek. When a section of pipe broke in September 2015, sewage flow was temporarily redirected to an alternative network. Unitywater needed a fast and more permanent solution, however, for several reasons. Noosa was about to be hit by an influx of visitors as the peak summer tourist season was approaching, the alternative network had limited capacity and any heavy rain would have exceeded that network’s capacity. This would have likely caused sewage overflows at various points across Noosa. “We knew these negative outcomes would erode public trust, damage the reputations of both Noosa and Unitywater and attract compensation claims from accommodation providers,” Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions Executive Manager, Scott Barnes, said. As part of its emergency planning in response to the sudden break, the water and sewerage services provider considered three potential long-term solutions: • An expensive and time-consuming construction of kilometres of new pipeline around Noosa to re-link the sewerage network on the north side of the creek to the south side • Trenching a replacement pipe across Weyba Creek • Fast tracking a horizontal directional drilling (HDD) project HDD was chosen because it provided the following benefits: relatively quick to establish, minimal construction impacts on Weyba Creek, and protection of all local flora and fauna. Overall, it provided a sustainable long-term solution which ensured the sewerage system operated normally

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in time for the summer tourist season. “Given the time pressures and the immense environmental difficulties faced with trenching across the creek, as well as the uncertainty of gaining approvals, we decided to undertake an emergency horizontal directional drill,” Mr Barnes said. “We then set about rolling out a fast-track project to install 350m of DN315 product pipe parallel to, and below, the failed main.”

UNDERSTANDING POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS Mr Barnes said that undertaking a HDD project to complete urgent reactive work required innovative thinking to overcome the obstacles and complete the project in the limited time available. Generally, HDD is employed in longer term, planned projects with time available for project planning and approvals. “Not only is Noosa an internationally-renowned tourist destination, its estuary has achieved the highest environmental health rating in South East Queensland over many years,” Mr Barnes said. “The HDD locations needed to avoid impact to all surrounding areas of environmental significance and choices were limited. After assessment, the entry pit and rig were located within a Noosa Council park on Mossman Court on the north side of Weyba Creek and the exit drill within a nature refuge on the south side.” Furthermore, time pressures meant Unitywater had to run several processes in parallel: • The engagement of a drilling expert (Bamser) to determine the capacity of drilling companies to start on site within three weeks Continued on page 74 WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


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TRENCHLESS TECHNOLOGY UNITYWATER MOSSMAN COURT PARK WITH ACOUSTIC CURTAINS

Unitywater cast wide for suitable machinery with rubber tracks to use on the concrete path of the nature refuge. A suitable geotech drill rig was brought in from interstate, and the HDD contractor sourced lightweight machinery and developed construction methodologies to suit. “The project also needed dedicated stakeholder management that included face-to-face interaction with multiple property owners and managers, and environmental groups to keep them informed throughout the project and provide them with an appropriate channel for any concerns,” Mr Barnes said. “Noise was their major concern, which we managed by placing sound curtains around noise-generating machinery and on sections of temporary fencing.” UNITYWATER PIPE ON ROLLERS READY TO PULL IN

• Unitywater’s Environmental Officer undertook site assessments to understand the potential environmental risks associated with the work and developed an Environmental Management Plan to mitigate and control the risks associated with construction. Required approvals were sought from Noosa Council and State Government departments • Discussions with Noosa Council to scope out access for vehicles and geotechnical surveys Unitywater put a number of measures in place to work around a variety of environmental considerations. “The creek is a designated fish habitat area, and demanded careful management of silt by bunding, sand bagging and placement of a silt curtain,” Mr Barnes said. “Vegetation in the nature refuge, where the drill was to exit, is protected, therefore no vegetation could be damaged during construction. Access and activity had to be confined to the narrow 650m concrete pedestrian path through thick vegetation. To avoid damage, any machinery accessing the site had to weigh no more than five tonnes. “The nature refuge is also a protected habitat for several species of animal, therefore fauna controls had to be adopted throughout the project. These included dedicated fauna spotters and a pre-construction survey. “Council advised that the path through the nature refuge needed to remain open as it was used by tour operators, visitors and locals to access a ferry. “The council park contains trees designated by Council as protected so any vegetation removal to make way for the rig and entry pit was limited to smaller shrubs and grasses. All excavation works were undertaken to avoid protected tree root zones which involved excavating by vacuum on low pressure.”

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DELIVERING A SUCCESSFUL PROJECT IN A TIGHT TIMEFRAME Pipeline Drillers, which won Unitywater’s contract for the project, was able to mobilise in the restricted space available in Mossman Park on 26 October 2015. The quality of the under-creek ground conditions made for relatively slow work and the pilot hole was completed on 18 November. To manage the risk, the project managers planned a conservative triple reaming process. Two 25,000 litre sucker trucks were employed full-time to transport the mud from one side of the creek to the other. The first 180mm pass was completed on 21 November, followed by a 350mm pass, and the 500mm pass completed on 26 November. The final hole-conditioning drum was passed through in the next two days and the DN315 HDPE product pipe was successfully installed on Sunday 29 November. The project concluded prior to the busy Christmas holiday period, as planned. Unitywater was thrilled to win the 2017 ASTT Project of the Year – New Installation award, which was presented at the ASTT gala dinner on Thursday 14 September 2017 as part of the No-Dig Down Under conference. “This was an innovative project and we were thrilled to be recognised for the work we carried out in such a highly sensitive environment,” Mr Barnes said. “In response to a difficult situation, Unitywater stepped up to plan and execute an emergency horizontal directional drill in a highly sensitive environment. “The way the team responded in this very challenging situation was truly remarkable. We used innovative thinking to meet stringent environmental demands and overcome construction constraints, installing a permanent sewerage pipeline within a narrow window of opportunity.” WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


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The PFC100 and PFC200 are characterized by cross-platform real-time Linux The PFC controllers use an open-source operating system that can be scaled, updated and supports tools such as Rsync The Linux® foundation supports essential security protocols and is constantly being enhanced Support for CODESYS PLC runtime

Interface and fieldbus diversity: CANopen, PROFIBUS DP, DeviceNet, MODBUS TCP, IEC 60870, IEC 61850 and DNP 3.0 Maximum security requirements per ISO 27000 series On-board VPN functionality: VPN tunnel possible via IPsec or OpenVPN directly

There can be serious consequences for energy producers if they aren’t securely connected to the Internet. Cybercriminals can use system controllers to hack into control centers and shut them down, jeopardizing the power supply and even threatening wide-range blackouts in a worst-case scenario. The good news: Operators now know the dangers and cybersecurity is becoming more important. WAGO controllers will play a crucial role in your company’s security policies and procedures. PC-based operating systems must receive weekly security updates as they do not otherwise provide sufficient cybersecurity; the hardened firmware of a WAGO controller, however, does meet the corresponding security requirements. IEC 60870/ 61850/61400

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TRENCHLESS TECHNOLOGY

Utility Partner Solutions

THINKING STRATEGICALLY ABOUT EXCAVATION EQUIPMENT Drilling Services Australia (DSA) has taken a strategic approach to procuring equipment for its involvement in the infrastructure boom in Queensland. This approach helps DSA to avoid risks, reduce unnecessary downtime and keep the project on schedule.

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stablished in 2010, DSA — operating under the Zarafa Group in Brisbane — offers excavation and drilling services to projects in the civil construction and utility industry. Michael Zarafa, Director of DSA and the Zarafa Group, said the process of acquiring new equipment such as directional drills involves identifying the project’s core needs, as well as any potential problems that may arise. “At DSA we have a General Manager, a project manager, a superintendent and project supervisors who strategically plan for each job and decide on the required equipment,” Mr Zarafa said. “The telecommunications side of our business often uses the same equipment, but for markets like water, gas and renewable energy, the equipment needs to be more specialised which requires more research. This equipment is then handpicked to fit the requirements.”

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DSA recently purchased another vacuum excavator to head the NDD division of Zarafa Group business. Zarafa Group believes that safety is number one and so the Vermeer VSK100 Truck-Mounted Vacuum Excavator is the fifth piece of NDD equipment in its fleet.

ELIMINATING RISKS WITH VACUUM EXCAVATION DSA identified some of the potential risks associated with traditional excavation methods in the TPG rollout project; Vermeer’s VSK100 provided the solution. Traditional excavation methods can pose numerous threats to nearby underground assets, as pipes can be punctured or powerlines damaged. This can disrupt services and in some cases pose safety risks to the machine operator. “We identified that there is a risk of hitting underground assets if we use mechanical excavation around the pits. If this occurs, it could disrupt services, cause massive delays

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and be costly to reverse,” Mr Zarafa said. “To avoid this we bypassed mechanical excavation altogether and chose a vacuum excavation truck instead. It eliminates the risk of damaging any services and is actually more productive because it drastically reduces manual digging and is low impact.”

GAINING A COMPETITIVE EDGE DSA uses directional drills such as the Vermeer D20x22 and D80x100 in addition to its vacuum excavators to stand out in the competitive telecommunications sector. “The telecommunications industry is booming at the moment, not just with the NBN, but also with TPG rolling out its network. The D20x22 is being used regularly for these types of projects across the board,” Mr Zarafa said. “It’s one of the most versatile machines we have because it has a small footprint and a lot of power. Believe it or not, we actually drill some soft rock with this machine as well, it is a really important part of our fleet.”

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TRENCHLESS TECHNOLOGY

Utility Partner Solutions

KEEPING UP WITH MAINTENANCE Mr Zarafa said Vermeer’s proactive after-sales support and scheduled maintenance were major factors in choosing Vermeer equipment over other manufacturers. “When we’re working with tier 1 contractors such as Downer and CPB, we have to prioritise quality as well as turnover when we’re picking equipment. The industry is very cut-throat, when you need something you need it right then. Demand is one of the things you have to manage correctly and Vermeer has been very competitive with their turnaround. “It’s all about how they manage themselves and their clients. Everyone has issues, but the way that Vermeer manages and handles any challenges we have is a big point of difference. “We will continue to use Vermeer because they produce outcomes that help our business succeed. If our machinery is working at its full potential it allows us to be productive and get jobs done effectively — that is an important outcome.”

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DAMAGE PREVENTION

DIAL BEFORE YOU DIG’S INFRASTRUCTURE DAMAGE REPORTING SYSTEM Dial Before You Dig has developed a data collection and reporting tool, the Infrastructure Damage Reporting System (IDRS), which is designed to build a comprehensive picture in relation to damage incidents associated with excavation activities nationally.

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ince its inception in 2013, over 125,000 incidents have been reported across the telecommunications, power, water and gas sectors. This is now providing valuable insights into the nature and causes of incidents where infrastructure is damaged. IDRS is populated by Dial Before You Dig asset owning members, providing accurate and comprehensive data for reporting information about damages that occur to their assets. It is simple to use and the analysed results are presented in a comprehensive, customisable, on-demand report which allows members to better understand where, how and why these damages are occurring.

SECURE AND CONFIDENTIAL IDRS is set up to ensure members’ data is kept confidential on secure Australian-hosted servers, allowing them to view their respective data securely with the ability to compare it against national trends. It enables asset damage data to be viewed within a broader context (e.g. individual incidents can be evaluated against trends over time and wider regional views), resulting in more meaningful insights and conclusions. EDUCATION AND DAMAGE REDUCTION Not only has IDRS aided the understanding of what’s happening to assets, it has been a valuable tool for utilities and asset owners in their damage reduction initiatives, including: • Highlighting specific areas for damage prevention stakeholders to focus their limited resources to achieve the greatest results • Awareness sessions, education and training targeted to specific groups • Increasing requests for location services by local contractors and excavators • Improving the identification of underground assets among locating professionals through best practices education and training • Improving safe excavation practices

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Today, IDRS is used to collate and report on both underground and above ground asset incidents and enables users to analyse the cause of these incidents. Dial Before You Dig and its members can use these results to drive improvements in their operations and develop programs that will help avoid future incidents. Any damage to an infrastructure service provider’s asset has an impact on the community whether it is power, gas, telecommunications, water, etc. Damages can have safety, economic and environmental impacts for all concerned; preventing one incident from occurring can, in many situations, prevent injury or fatal outcomes. As the volume of historical data increases over time, the benefits to the community and the economy through fewer disruptions to vital services will continue to grow. Being able to quantify the impact of asset damage incidents and finding ways to reduce these disruptions is the true value of this tool to the Australian economy.

CASE STUDY – ERGON ENERGY (DBYD QUEENSLAND MEMBER) Ergon Energy (now combined with Energex to become Energy Queensland) saw the opportunity in 2014 to capture not only underground asset damage incident data but also above ground assets incident data. At that time, Ergon Energy was responsible for delivering power to 97 per cent of Queensland and had a wide-ranging network consisting of over one million poles, approximately 160,000km of overhead conductor and 7,000km of underground network. With a large volume of above ground infrastructure, these assets were at a higher rate of contact with third parties than underground assets. Ergon Energy has produced customised monthly statistical and spatial reports on business related metrics such as: • Restoral costs • Number of hours to rectify • Number of customers impacted • Customer downtime To date, Ergon Energy has uploaded ten years of asset damage data into IDRS and continues to provide ongoing regular monthly updates. In Ergon Energy’s case, it has refined its reporting requirements to align directly with its safety awareness strategies, in turn allowing it to focus on key safety messages to the wider community around engagement, education and enablement. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


DAMAGE PREVENTION

CASE STUDY – SA WATER (DBYD SOUTH AUSTRALIA MEMBER) An opportunity was recognised during 2015 to utilise and develop IDRS for SA Water. The aim was to enable local data management and reporting, as well as national reporting with a focus on damage caused by SA Water construction and operational activities. In this case, the member was focused on the damage caused by its own internal and external workforces on both its own and other members’ assets during its Capital Delivery construction program across the state. Key attributes include: • Consistency of data capture based around common occurrence, cause and consequence prompts • Data management is extended through supply chain with site-based reporting (via mobile application), officebased reporting or validation via web browser interface and data verification with security levels for users • Data management allows for the front-end user (initiating constructor) to manage their own data sets and have automated, self-managed reporting • Verification and consistent reporting (from common data sets) can extend through SA Water to National Dial Before You Dig level within the same system IDRS was rolled out to SA Water’s primary infrastructure delivery partners and internal workforce. Data input and management can be used from a web-based office environment or via a browser connection to IDRS, and for field use in real time using mobile devices. Customised data fields were created in IDRS for SA Water’s reporting requirements and once enough data was captured, selfgenerating statistical and spatial report charts were able to be produced. UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

SA Water produces a regular Essential Services & Excavation Report which is distributed to its management teams. Delivery partners are also able to selfgenerate individual reports for their management teams, all from the same data sets. The data and information generated is providing additional intelligence by quantification of the risks and opportunities for, and to, SA Water and its delivery partners, supply chain, fellow service providers and Dial Before You Dig collective state customers. Intelligence benefits IDRS is providing include opportunities to deliver new strategies to improve customer service impact, improved asset information and reduced operational risks. In addition, it has enabled wider stakeholder engagement and service provider collaboration, targeted workforce education and quantification of associated (community) costs, as well as environmental, public health and safety risk reduction. Dial Before You Dig continues to encourage more of its members to share information on IDRS. Similar international initiatives have delivered encouraging reports as the quantity and quality of information received continues to improve. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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DAMAGE PREVENTION

Utility Partner Solutions

Sydney construction company

LEADS WITH BREAKTHROUGH QUOTATION WEBSITE The civil construction industry can sometimes lag behind in its adoption of technology, resulting in long delays for quotations and project pricing. But this has now changed.

K

hare Aoun, owner of Aoun Constructions, has developed a world-class, web-based quotation system for earthworks, sewerage and civil construction, that allows clients to instantly receive a detailed quote – and a guarantee of lowest price. Mr Aoun said, “Many of our clients reported frustration with the long delays in receiving quotations, especially in getting prices for preliminary site preparation, earthworks and sewerage work. So we decided to make big improvements for our customers. It’s a question of convenience.” To achieve this goal, Mr Aoun designed a website that provides immediate feedback regarding pricing, and allows project managers and estimators to rapidly compile pricing summaries for larger scale projects. You can see the results at www.sewerservicessydney. com. The innovation doesn’t stop there however. “We decided to reward our clients with a 10 per cent cost discount if they paid upfront, and this has been a roaring success. Our clients know that we’ll satisfy their demands, and we know that the money is in the bank. It’s a terrific win-win situation because they save 10 per cent on our quote,” Mr Aoun said. Mr Aoun is a long-term participant in the Sydney construction industry. He started with his father at age 14 and learned his trade, and then started his own construction company in 2004. “Over the last 14 years I have worked my company up to be one of the main competitors in the Sydney market. The investment has been extensive – in machines, in people, in skills and in technology – so we can handle any size job with complete professionalism.” Aoun Construction Group provides high-quality sewer

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works and construction services to all types of sites ranging from smaller residential developments through to larger scale sites such as shopping centres. “Experience has given us the versatility to meet the specific needs of private and government clients from all industries, and we are strongly competitive on price and performance. Our clients get the best deals, and we can scale upwards to complete any size job,” Mr Aoun said. Aoun Constructions has accreditation with Sydney Water and is ISO9001 certified, along with NSW OHSMS certification to ensure site safety. As Mr Aoun said, “Safety is a big cost issue because a sloppy contractor can set a schedule back weeks if a worker has an accident or if safety is not enforced.” Mr Aoun is experienced across all different types of site and sewer preparation, and the company is renowned for efficiency, he said, “Because we simply try harder. Most problems disappear when you consult professionally, and to avoid problems we use top-line pipe and sewer detection technologies and pegging-out engineering.” There’s also a special offer Mr Aoun has made available for readers of Utility magazine – refer an associate or a friend, and receive a cash benefit of up to $500. “Our incentive program has been very successful because it offers a solid reward for just sending an email. Plus, we’ll beat any quote by 10 per cent, which makes us unique,” Mr Aoun said. Aoun Constructions is very unique. Professional quoting, efficient work and a guarantee that you’ll get the lowest price. It’s a combination that has made Aoun Constructions one of the strongest and most respected competitors. Call Aoun Construction on 1800 AOUN 04 or 02 9212 6229, or visit the quotation section on the website; then refer an associate and get up to $500 reward. For more information, visit www.sewerservicessydney.com. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


PROUDLY PRESENTED BY:

MAJOR SPONSOR:

Standard

Jotun blue

Black and white

11–14 NOVEMBER 2018 | ADELAIDE CONVENTION CENTRE CORROSION & PREVENTION 2018

C&P2018 INCLUDES:

The annual ACA conference is a 3 day gathering of world experts on corrosion mitigation. This will be a premium networking event as well as a source for the latest information concerning corrosion mitigation. Entitled Corrosion & Prevention 2018, the conference will comprise a program of keynote speakers and presentations under a range of industry ‘streams’, integrated with an exhibition that will showcase the latest products and services of the corrosion mitigation industry.

• Quality Technical Program

• Various Forums

• 72 Booth Trade exhibition

• Awards Dinner

Over 500 delegates and visitors are expected to attend from industries such as; protective coatings, water, defence, building and construction, mining, oil & gas, cathodic protection, power and more.

• Social & Networking functions • Partner Program

PLENARY LECTURES Professor Brian Kinsella Deputy Director Applied Corrosion Research and Testing, Curtin Corrosion Engineering Industry Centre, Faculty of Science & Engineering | School of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, Curtin University, Australia Dr Laura Machuca Lecturer, CCEIC, Curtin University

Miles Buckhurst Global Concept Director – HPI Jotun, Norway

Associate Professor Geoffrey Will + more Science & Engineering Faculty o come t Queensland University of Technology

For more information and to register go to: conference.corrosion.com.au


DRAIN CLEANING

Utility Partner Solutions

CLEANING PUBLIC SPACES ...KEEPING IT LEGAL

As our cities and towns grow, local government faces continued pressure to provide a safe and pleasant environment for the public. High pressure steam cleaning of pavements and plazas, and even graffiti removal, can create breaches of EPA regulations. WHAT IS WATER POLLUTION? By definition of the act, water pollution is introducing any matter into waters which changes the physical, chemical or biological condition of the water. Cleaning with wastewater, which carries whatever contaminates are being cleaned off the job, into stormwater drains is a breach. Analysis of breaches indicates that some local government bodies or their contractors have been forced to pay substantial fines for illegal disposal of the contaminated waste into the water catchment. Fines of up to $5 million or seven year imprisonment for individuals can also be applied. In other words, this is a very serious matter. One Sydney-based company, Australian Pump Industries, has developed a machine designed to allow high pressure steam cleaning of streetscapes to be carried out while practicing “clean and capture”. This system means that the pressure cleaning of flat or vertical surfaces can be captured, vacuumed into the machine, filtered and reused. The trailer or truck mounted system comprises a minimum 1000 litre water tank, a steam cleaner and integrated vacuum system, becoming a mobile cleaning station that reuses its own captured water to carry out cleaning tasks. Called the Aussie Hydro-Loop, the machine means that cityscapes like plazas and outdoor eating areas can be easily cleaned with the machine’s high pressure steam capability. The main drive for the system is a water cooled Kubota diesel engine, with a top quality ‘Big Berty’ Bertolini triplex high pressure pump providing 4000psi and 20lpm flow at the heart of the system. “We’ve designed this machine with councils and government departments in mind. Contractors also use the unit because of its unique loop system that leaves the job completely clean without polluting the environment,” Aussie Pumps’ Chief Engineer, John Hales, said. The strength of the system is not only its high pressure but the fact that the unit can operate at water temperatures of up to 120 degrees celsius. “When temperature is applied with pressure to graffiti it just peels off the wall,” Mr Hales said. “Other jobs like sanitising amenity areas and sports facilities, or removing oil stains from council operated car parks or streetscapes are easy due to the machine’s high steam capabilities.” Like all systems, operators need to be properly trained to make sure they carry spare filters for the clean and capture systems. In the event of filters becoming blocked during a job, they can be changed out quickly, in a matter of minutes.

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DIESELS ARE NOISY Yes they are! The latest version of the Aussie Hydro-Loop high pressure cleaning system operates at 75dbA. Chores like cleaning of the Sydney Opera House forecourt or the back alleys around nightclubs in the CBD, can all be carried out without disturbing residents – even at night. Silencing is not achieved by the machine being cased in a large sound proof box. Rather, a high-tech engineering approach has been used to develop stainless steel panels that absorb the noise without creating the danger of overheating. “The real benefit of the Hydro-Hush system is that we can provide low noise levels and at the same time not run the risk of breakdowns due to lack of airflow in and around the machine,” Mr Hales said. Some councils have made a valiant effort to comply with EPA rules by using truck mounted high pressure steam cleaners, some of them silenced with big enclosures. A mobile street sweeper goes behind to pick up whatever residue runs into the gutter. This requires two vehicles and three men to achieve what could be done by one operator with a Hydro-Hush Loop system. Where vertical cleaning is concerned, a berm, supplied with the machine, will dam the wastewater. It is then vacuumed up into the filtration system and reused. “The Hydro-Hush Loop system is a revolution. It provides huge labour savings but also, more importantly, enables local government bodies and their contractors to comply with the EPA’s strict approach,” Mr Hales said. Further information, including a comprehensive info pack on this product, is available from Australian Pump Industries at www.aussiepumps.com.au

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


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RENEWABLES

Record-breaking renewables:

A YEAR IN REVIEW In May 2018, the Clean Energy Council, the peak body for the renewable energy and energy storage industry in Australia, released its annual Clean Energy Australia Report. The 2018 report provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of the Australian clean energy sector and the latest key figures and statistics on the national energy market.

I

t is the only analysis that includes the National Electricity Market, the Western Australian electricity grid and other major regional grids across the country in areas such as the Northern Territory. Approximately 700MW of renewable projects were completed and began generation in 2017. With seven times that amount either under construction or with financial support at the end of 2017, the clean energy industry is on the verge of a major breakthrough. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data, large-scale wind and solar project activity pushed investment in Australia up 150 per cent to a record US$9 billion in 2017. Globally, clean energy investment amounted to US$333.5

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billion last year. This was three per cent higher than 2016 and the second highest annual figure ever â&#x20AC;&#x201C; just seven per cent less than the record US$360.3 billion reported in 2015. Almost 1.1GW of solar PV was installed in the small-scale market in 2017, which was a record for the rooftop solar industry. Considerable growth also occurred in the mediumscale solar sector, with 131 projects adding 53MW of new capacity. There is now 167MW of cumulative capacity in the medium-scale solar sector, representing an increase of more than 500 per cent over the past five years. Four new large-scale solar projects were completed in 2017, with the largest being the 50MW plant built by Genex at Kidston in North Queensland. Total installed large-scale WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


RENEWABLES

solar capacity reached 450MW at the end of 2017, compared to just 34MW at the end of 2014. The wind sector also experienced a large amount of activity in 2017, with 15 new wind farms either under construction or financially committed at the end of the year. The 547MW of new capacity added in 2017 was the third highest amount added in the history of the Australian wind industry, bringing total generation capacity across the country to 4816MW. For the first time ever, wind and hydro generation contributed an almost identical amount of electricity – approximately 5.7 per cent each – to total national electricity generation during the year. Early in 2018, the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) announced that there were enough projects at a sufficiently advanced stage to meet the large-scale Renewable Energy Target (RET). The CER has previously estimated that approximately 6000MW of large-scale generation capacity would need to be announced and built between 2016 and 2019 to meet the target of 33,000GWh of additional renewable energy by the end of the decade. There has been 6532MW of new large-scale generation firmly announced between 2016 and the time of the CER announcement in January 2018. The majority of this is either under construction or already operating, and the rest is expected to begin construction in 2018.

CLEAN ENERGY PERFORMANCE BY STATE Australian Capital Territory The Australian Capital Territory has the most ambitious renewable energy target in the country, and is on track to deliver on its goal of 100 per cent clean energy well before its 2020 deadline. The ACT was the first state or territory to run a reverse auction scheme for new renewable energy, a process that invites companies to bid on the construction of new wind and solar projects for the lowest cost. The first reverse auction for 40MW of large-scale solar projects was held in 2012 and 2013, followed by three 200MW wind power reverse auctions in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The feed-in tariffs awarded as part of the auctions are fixed for 20 years, helping to protect Canberra residents from sharp rises in wholesale electricity prices. The last project to be built under the scheme will be Union Fenosa’s Crookwell 2 Wind Farm, which is due for completion in the second half of 2018. All the other projects have now been completed. New South Wales Although New South Wales does not have a specific renewable energy target, the State Government has set a long-term target for NSW to have zero net emissions by 2050, including in its energy sector. As part of this goal, the government’s Climate Change Fund Strategic Plan aims to double the state’s level of renewable energy capacity to more than 10,000MW by 2021. NSW was one of the leading states for new large-scale UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

renewable energy projects at the beginning of 2018, with the government approving 11 large-scale solar energy plants in the previous 12 months. State renewable energy penetration was recorded as 11 per cent, but this figure includes the ACT. Northern Territory The Northern Territory has set itself a target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030, but renewables only accounted for four per cent of its power generation in 2017. In late 2017, an independent expert panel produced the Roadmap to Renewables report, which provided 11 recommendations on how the NT Government can achieve its target. These included making renewable energy a central pillar of the NT Government’s economic policy, and a series of other financial, regulatory and technical recommendations. Meeting the 50 per cent renewable energy target will allow NT to move away from its reliance on gas and diesel, which currently accounts for 96 per cent of its energy generation. Queensland Queensland has set a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, but in 2017, only eight per cent of the state’s electricity came from renewables. As part of its $1.16 billion Powering Queensland plan, the government’s Renewables 400 initiative held a reverse auction for up to 400MW of new renewable energy capacity, including 100MW of new storage. Renewables 400 attracted 115 proposals from 79 businesses, adding up to more than 9000MW of new capacity – more than 20 times the amount needed. Several areas of the state have emerged as large-scale solar hubs, including Townsville in North Queensland and the Darling Downs west of Toowoomba. Queensland already has the largest number of rooftop solar installations of any state or territory, as well as eight of the top ten solar postcodes in the country. South Australia South Australia set a target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2025, which it had almost achieved in 2017, with 45 per cent of the state’s electricity coming from renewable sources. In March 2018, after 16 years of Labor in power, the state elected a Liberal government. The effect that this will have on renewable energy in the state is yet to be determined. The new Premier has promised support for storage at the household level, and pledged to build a new interconnector to NSW. He has also backed the solar thermal plant planned for Port Augusta. Electranet is conducting extensive analysis about whether the proposed transmission line to NSW will be a positive for South Australia. Its report is due mid-2018. Tasmania With its extensive hydro power network supplying almost 90 per cent of the state’s energy needs, Tasmania has traditionally been Australia’s renewable energy leader. In April 2017, Hydro Tasmania announced its Battery of the Nation plan, which could double the state’s renewable energy capacity from 2500MW to 5000MW through pumped WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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RENEWABLES

Record-breaking renewables: a year in review

hydro storage, wind farms and upgrades to existing hydro power facilities. A number of new wind farms are under development in Tasmania, with the state’s north-west being touted as “Australia’s wind farm capital". The Robbins Island Renewable Energy Park is a proposal for a 450MW project, with the possibility of being expanded to 1000MW if a second interconnector is built to the mainland. This would make the wind farm the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Victoria The Victorian Government has committed to two renewable energy targets: 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025. Renewable energy penetration in 2017 was 16 per cent. This will be supported by the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme, a reverse auction to fund 650MW of new renewable energy, with 100MW of this specifically for large-scale solar. The scheme is the largest renewable energy reverse auction in Australia and will result in a significant increase in renewable energy projects in Victoria. The Victorian Government has also announced the outcome of tenders under its Renewable Certificate Purchasing Initiative, which involves the government procuring renewable energy certificates directly from new Victorian projects. The 31MW Kiata Wind Farm and the 132MW Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm were the successful projects under the first stage of the initiative, while the 88MW Bannerton Solar Park and 34MW Numurkah Solar Farm were awarded tenders under the second stage of the competitive tender process.

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Western Australia Western Australia has traditionally lagged behind the eastern states when it comes to renewable energy, but during 2017 more than 1000MW of wind and solar projects were seeking connection approvals and finance in the state’s south-west. However, WA is the only state or territory in Australia that hasn’t committed to a target for renewable energy or zero net emissions. Renewable technologies accounted for 14 per cent of the state’s total electricity generation in 2017. In late 2017, the WA Government announced that stateowned power utility Synergy will set up a green power fund with investment from the Dutch Infrastructure Fund, providing an opportunity for investors to finance a portfolio of renewable assets to diversify risk and reduce costs. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) estimates that another 700MW of new renewable energy capacity will be required to meet WA’s share of the Renewable Energy Target, and Western Power estimated in mid-2017 that more than 1000MW of new projects are in the pipeline.

BOOSTING EMPLOYMENT AND UNDERSTANDING PRICING CHALLENGES Increased confidence in renewables has resulted in an unprecedented level of industry activity, with the rooftop solar sector reporting a shortage of qualified electricians in some areas. By the end of 2017, many established solar retailers were reporting that the increased level of activity sometimes made it difficult to find enough qualified electricians to complete all the work that was coming in, and these market conditions helped trigger a steady increase in the number of accredited solar installers. WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


By the end of 2017, the number of installers accredited with the Clean Energy Council had grown to 4941. This was slightly more than the 4824 registered at the end of 2012, which was the previous highest year for the sector. The number of new accredited installers per month increased by 60 per cent in 2017 compared to the year before. If the demand for solar continues throughout 2018 – and many of the factors that drove the strong results in 2017 are still in place – the level of opportunity will lead to more electricians doing the necessary training to expand into the solar sector. Increased project activity for large-scale wind and solar also resulted in a growing number of jobs in regional areas across the country. Affordability challenges continue across the National Electricity Market, following significant price rises over the past decade. According to the Australian Electricity Market Commission (AEMC), the national average annual residential electricity bill in 2016-17 was $1424, up from $1296 in the previous financial year. The prediction for 2017-18 is a further rise to $1576, before falling to $1495 in 2018-19 and $1387 in 2019-2020. The AEMC found wholesale electricity costs – the cost of generating power – has been the single biggest driver of residential electricity bill increases recently. Earlier price trend reports had identified network costs as the main upward driver. High gas prices and the closure of several coal-fired plants combined to lift wholesale electricity prices by almost 11 per cent nationally. A report by the Australian National University showed that between 2006 and 2016, electricity price rises were highest in the states with relatively low levels of renewable energy and a high reliance on gas and/or coal generation (136 per cent in Queensland, 118 per cent in Victoria and 109 per cent in New South Wales). In contrast, South Australia, which now generates almost half of its energy from renewables, experienced a far lower electricity price rise (87 per cent) over the same period.

RENEWABLE GENERATION BY TECHNOLOGY TYPE Hydro

33.9%

Wind

33.8%

Small-scale solar PV

20.3%

Bioenergy

9.7%

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Large-scale solar PV

1.8%

Medium-scale solar PV

0.5%

Solar thermal

0.1%

WHERE ACCURACY MATTERS

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17%

Fossil fuels

83%

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RENEWABLES

Utility Partner Solutions

Connecting

NEW ENERGY SOURCES TO THE GRID As the largest wind farm in New South Wales, the 270MW Sapphire Wind Farm will provide enough clean energy to power around 115,000 homes. Connecting renewable projects to the grid is a complex yet crucial process that requires specialist network and electrical knowledge. Zinfra is one of the contractors that has helped bring this large-scale renewable energy project to life, using its experience in the power sector to facilitate grid connection, while pulling out all the stops to help meet tight targets.

Z

infra was engaged by TransGrid to construct a 330/33kV substation and carry out associated 330kV line works to connect the new wind farm to TransGrid’s existing 330kV 8E SA Armidale-Dumaresq transmission line. The scope of the works included limited design, balance of procurement, bulk earthworks, detailed civil works, electrical works, testing, commissioning and training of staff. Zinfra was granted possession of site in January 2017. Practical completion was awarded on 1 December 2017, with the project completed on schedule and on budget, well in advance of the energisation of the wind farm’s collector cables.

EXCEPTIONAL RESULT DELIVERED WITHIN A CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENT “The greatest highlight of this project was that it was delivered within a 10 month construction timeframe that included over a month of inclement weather experienced during the bulk earthworks phase. This is an exceptional result for a scope of works of this magnitude and a testament to Zinfra’s capabilities,” Zinfra Site Engineer, Luke Perabo, said. The main challenge Zinfra faced was the successful delivery of a quality build within a constrained program, which required meticulous planning, monitoring and support to ensure resources, plant and deliveries were organised to avoid disruption to the program. “A prime example of this planning was apparent through innovative scheduling. One innovation was where we targeted specific civil works such as the construction of the cable trenches and areas for foundations for primary plant. By targeting specific areas such as these, it allowed

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us to install the multicores and terminate them in the circuit breakers, current transformers etc prior to the cable trenches being completed,” Mr Perabo said. “Furthermore, during the peak of the electrical works, additional resources were mobilised from Zinfra’s New South Wales and Queensland Power Divisions, and divided into three crews on rotating rosters to ensure continuity of works. “Consequently, this approach had its own challenges including an increased number of personnel (up to 70 persons on-site during peak construction) and work activities exposed to plant interactions. “These challenges were well managed by Zinfra, who maintained effective communication amongst all site staff, established clear interfaces and protocols, and strategically allocated tasks to minimise interaction.”

COLLABORATION KEY TO DELIVERING HIGH STANDARDS OF SAFETY AND QUALITY A collaborative partnership between Zinfra, TransGrid and the client was established early on in the project to ensure project outcomes. This collaborative approach fed down the project structure to site level and communication between TransGrid and Zinfra was very well regarded. “Effective communication and a collaborative relationship was also established with the head client and balance of plant contractor for the wind farm through regular interface meetings, which both Zinfra and TransGrid representatives attended,” Mr Perabo said. “Throughout the project, the safety of all personnel was held paramount. In particular, during the construction phase, a safety culture was fostered by the site management team with the appointment of a full time Safety Advisor. Also, a key focus was placed on fatigue management due to the remote location of the site and working hours.” A high standard of quality was enforced through the entirety of the project. This was promoted by Zinfra’s experienced Civil and Electrical Inspectors and supported by the comprehensive, tailor-made suite of inspection and test plans (ITPs)/inspection and check sheets (ITCs) developed in-house specifically for the project. Mr Perabo said that this project is an excellent reflection of Zinfra's capabilities in the growing renewables space. “The success of this project is another clear illustration of Zinfra’s expertise and capability to continue to deliver high-quality EHV substation and transmission line jobs on time, whilst fostering a safe working environment for their personnel. “The growing renewable energy market presents an exciting opportunity for Zinfra, in accommodating these new sources of generation and new customer connections requiring substation and transmission line works.” WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


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RENEWABLES

Preparation the key to developing A SUCCESSFUL RENEWABLE

ENERGY PROJECT

R

enewable projects in Australia are flourishing. With the Federal Government and numerous state governments setting Renewable Energy Targets, projects are emerging across the country to meet the growing demand for sustainable energy. Queensland in particular is a hotbed of renewable activity, with Powerlink currently assessing 167 connection enquiries with capacity of almost 38,000MW. Proposed projects stretch along Powerlink’s 1700km transmission network from north of Cairns to the New South Wales border. While the large volume of connection enquiries demonstrates a high level of interest in developing renewable energy projects, it is important that connection enquiries are well prepared to maximise the potential of quick and successful connection to the grid. Without exception, the projects that have executed a Connection and Access Agreement and developed a viable delivery program have undertaken significant leg work upfront.

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Although connection is obviously one of the last stages in the physical process, understanding this system early in a project’s development has the potential to save a lot of work down the track.

UNDERSTAND THE REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT Before a potential generator even begins to think about a specific project, it’s important they have a firm understanding of the often complex rules, systems and processes that govern Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM). The NEM operates under a closely managed framework. Understanding the connection process – especially the generator performance standard requirements and the rules the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) uses to operate the NEM – is crucial for securing the ability to export to the grid. Marginal loss factors are another crucial dynamic for generators to

UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

understand. Put simply, marginal loss factors (MLFs) represent how much power you lose in dollar terms based on your location selection. MLFs are a key factor in determining the revenue you will be paid for the energy you generate. AEMO publishes MLF information on its website and any potential generator should be as familiar as possible with this data and changes that may occur to MLFs in the future. Understanding MLFs can be the difference between a viable project and an abandoned project.

ESTABLISH RELATIONSHIPS It’s never too early to start communicating with the network service provider you intend to connect to. In Queensland, that means talking to either Powerlink or Energy Queensland. Which network provider you speak to will largely depend on the size of the connection you are seeking and location to existing network assets. The earlier that network providers

WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU


RENEWABLES

Powerlink’s Network Connections Manager, Simon Taylor, explains some of the key aspects to having a well prepared connection enquiry. Simon has over 13 years’ experience in managing grid connections as part of Powerlink’s $1 billion non-regulated portfolio – the largest in Australia.

are aware of a project, the more helpful they can be. Some proponents line up every other aspect of their project before contacting the network service provider. In reality, connection to the grid is a long lead time activity and waiting until the last moment to make contact with network providers can result in wasted time, effort and money if a project needs to be re-scoped. Powerlink has Australia’s most experienced transmission network connection team, dedicated to helping deliver viable, successful renewable energy projects, on time and on budget. Our network connection experience can help proponents avoid unnecessary pitfalls.

THERE’S NO PERFECT SITE Site selection is a process of tradeoffs. No site is ever perfect so it comes down to understanding the variables that feed into site optimisation and how each will impact on the project. Factors like proximity to the grid, magnitude of local demand, location of

other generators, land topography, and obviously the quality of the renewable resource all play a significant role. But the real challenge is managing how these factors all interact with each other. A large, flat coastal site may provide access to a premium renewable resource, facilitate easy construction and be close to the grid — but the trade-off is that the site acquisition is likely to be very costly. A similar site located further inland may provide a better overall balance — even if it’s further from the network or has a lesser renewable resource — if the site acquisition cost is not as onerous. Other factors that should also be considered include: • What constraints are there on the network and what demand exists locally? • Is the site located near a population centre? • Is it well serviced by roads, bridges and water?

UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

Is the local government authority amenable to renewable projects? • Does the local zoning and approvals regime help facilitate projects? All of these factors will have an impact on different stages of a project’s development and need to be taken into account in early planning.

BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER There’s no doubt it’s an exciting time to be working in the renewables space, but proponents need to consider a lot of variables to make their project a success. The key to delivering a great renewable energy project comes down to careful planning, good site selection and early collaboration with network service providers. But before proponents even begin to think about sites, they need to know what is occurring across the network right now and have a good understanding of what’s coming in the future.

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GAS PIPELINES

JEMENA AND SENEX FAST-TRACK DOMESTIC GAS

Explorer and developer Senex has teamed up with Jemena to bring gas from its Project Atlas resource to market with the construction of a new pipeline.

S

enex was awarded the Atlas acreage, in southeast Queensland’s Surat Basin, by the Queensland Government in September 2017 following a competitive tender. Atlas is a high-quality resource, and Senex is developing the 58 square kilometre block for the Australian domestic gas market. In June 2018, Senex and Jemena signed an agreement that will see Jemena build, own and operate the Atlas Gas Processing Plant and Pipeline (AGPP), connecting the Atlas gas field with Jemena’s Darling Downs Pipeline and the Wallumbilla Gas Hub – the largest gas hub in the country. After a competitive tender process, Jemena was selected as Senex’s preferred partner because it proposed the most cost-effective and direct pathway to the domestic gas market. Jemena’s solution also leverages the Darling Downs Pipeline, which provides direct access to the Wallumbilla Gas Hub and offers Senex flexibility to sell its gas to a broad range of Australian gas customers. Jemena will invest around $140 million to build the

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gas plant and 60km pipeline, which will be capable of transporting approximately 40TJ of gas per day. Around 200 jobs will be created during the planning, construction and commissioning phases of the AGPP, which will bring new gas to the domestic market by late 2019. Senex Energy Managing Director and CEO, Ian Davies, said the agreement brought Senex one crucial step closer to delivering gas to domestic customers. “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with Jemena to fast-track Project Atlas to provide additional gas volumes into the domestic market. “Last year we made a commitment to deliver gas to the domestic market by the end of 2019. We are systematically bringing together all the critical elements to do just that,” Mr Davies said. The strategically located infrastructure will provide a longterm physical connection from a highly-productive area of the Surat Basin directly into the Wallumbilla Gas Hub. The design of the processing facility also contemplates future expansion

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GAS PIPELINES

JEMENA’S PAUL ADAMS.

for Senex or other third parties in the area to connect and supply into the domestic market. “This investment will not only create new jobs and support the local economy in the Western Downs region, but will result in generating royalties and benefits beyond the region and the state,” Mr Davies said. Jemena’s current Managing Director, Paul Adams, who announced he will be stepping down from the role in October 2018, said the AGPP will provide additional volumes into the domestic market for a range of commercial and industrial gas users. “The Atlas gas field is the first of 13 gas exploration tenements awarded by the Queensland Government as part of a broader move to fast-track the development of new gas to the domestic market. Jemena will construct the AGPP on an expedited schedule in order to deliver first gas by the end of 2019,” said Mr Adams.

NORTHERN PIPELINE STRATEGY This latest pipeline represents another piece in Jemena’s northern growth strategy, which is centred on developing an interconnected supply chain of gas infrastructure assets across northern Australia.

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SENEX ENERGY MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CEO IAN DAVIES.

“We know there is continued demand for gas across the east coast and that northern Australia will play a leading role in meeting this demand by bringing new gas to where it is most needed, via the most direct and economic route,” said Mr Adams. “The AGPP is another crucial addition to our plans in northern Australia and allows us to play a leading role in bringing a new source of gas supply and greater competition to the market. “We are also continuing work on our Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP), which will initially bring around 90TJs of gas to the east coast, and are now progressing plans to expand and extend the NGP so that it can transport around 700TJ of gas – that is enough gas to meet the average daily gas needs of Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide combined.” Mr Adams said the NGP continues to track to schedule with first gas set to flow before the end of the year.

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WA S T E MANAGEMENT

TRIAL UNDERWAY TO HARNESS

THE POWER OF PEE could potentially save millions of dollars on electricity and infrastructure costs. “The trial is taking place at the Innovation Centre at our Luggage Point Sewage Treatment Plant, so we’ve been encouraging our employees to put their number ones to good use. “A successful trial could pave the way for more waterless urinals, urine-separating toilets and on-site wastewater treatment plants at high-density offices, apartment buildings and even shopping centres in the future.”

QUEENSLAND URBAN UTILITIES' SPOKESPERSON MICHELLE CULL AND UQ ADVANCED WATER MANAGEMENT CENTRE ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, DR STEFANO FREGUIA, HOLDING THE UGOLD PRODUCT (LEFT) AND HYDROLYSED URINE (RIGHT).

T

he ground-breaking research is the world’s first system to recover nitrogen, phosphorus and micronutrients from urine at the source – the loo – without using chemicals or power. The trial is also testing the viability of using these nutrients, known as UGold, as a safe, low-energy fertiliser. Queensland Urban Utilities spokesperson Michelle Cull said the trial was part of the utility’s ongoing commitment to waste-to-resource initiatives. “We already have a poo-powered car which runs on electricity generated from sewage and the UGold project is another great example of turning waste into a useful resource,” Ms Cull said. “Removing nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater uses a huge amount of energy, so treating at the source

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PRODUCING A SUSTAINABLE SOURCE OF FERTILISER UQ’s Advanced Water Management Centre Associate Professor, Dr Stefano Freguia, is leading the trial of the UGold electro-concentration system. “Nitrogen and phosphorus are in high demand for agricultural fertiliser, but the current process of producing these resources is energy intensive and can create other environmental problems,” Dr Freguia said. “The UGold system could create a more sustainable source of nitrogen and phosphorus for fertiliser and also reduce the amount of energy required to treat sewage, which would be a win for business and for the environment. “As the population continues to grow, we need to find sustainable and safe ways to manage different waste streams, including human waste.” UQ’s School of Agriculture and Food Science Professor Susanne Schmidt said the UGold project was aligned with ongoing research into next-generation fertilisers by UQ researchers and industry collaborators. “There is so much potential to manage waste and generate next-generation fertilisers in the process – the global fertiliser market is worth $230 billion and the Australian market alone is worth $3 billion,” Professor Schmidt said. “Current mineral fertilisers have a considerable environmental footprint, and transitioning to a circular nutrient economy by recycling nutrients in waste has many benefits.” The UGold trial commenced in December 2017 at Queensland Urban Utilities’ Innovation Centre, where two waterless urinals have been installed at an on-site toilet block and connected to an adjoining laboratory.

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WA S T E MANAGEMENT

A trial by Queensland Urban Utilities and The University of Queensland (UQ) is harnessing the power of pee and testing its potential to be a sustainable source of fertiliser.

In the laboratory, urine travels through a series of battery-like systems and produces an electric current, which pushes the phosphorus and nitrogen and other micronutrients through a membrane system and concentrates them into a nutrient-rich product. Dr Freguia said the team was trialling the UGold product on plants in the laboratory, with promising results so far. “We’ve been testing the UGold product on tomato plants and found the plant which received UGold has grown three times faster than the control plant,” he said. “The focus in phase one of the research has been to optimise the electro-concentration system to minimise its cost and achieve an ideal proportion of nutrients in the UGold product. “In the next phase, we are planning to trial the use of the UGold product on crops on a larger scale.” The UGold trial is part of an Australian Research Council Linkage Project, where Queensland Urban Utilities and Memtech (formerly ABR Process) are the industry partners. Waterless urinals were donated by Caroma to support the trial. Queensland Urban Utilities, along with its partners, currently hosts more than $10 million worth of research at its Innovation Centre, where scientists work alongside engineers and operators to explore new and innovative ways to operate.

THE TOILET BLOCK AND LAB WHERE THE RESEARCH IS TAKING PLACE.

For information about other innovative projects underway at Queensland Urban Utilities’ Innovation Centre, visit urbanutilities.com.au/innovation. To learn more about The University of Queensland’s Advanced Water Management Centre and its research, visit awmc.uq.edu.au.

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WA S T E MANAGEMENT

MAKING WASTE COUNT Y

arra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty, said similar facilities have been successfully used throughout the world, including Europe and the US, but extensive research was needed to determine whether it would work in the Australian market. “This facility has the potential to change the way we use and value our assets in the Australian water industry. Instead of treating the organics as waste, we’re treating it as a product with value that can be reused to create and capture methane gas, resulting in significant environmental and cost benefits. As well as helping to keep organics out of landfill, we are also helping to make recycling commercial organic waste easier and more affordable for businesses,” Mr McCafferty said. The facility has the capacity to process up to 33,000 tonnes of organic waste each year, or approximately 100 tonnes per day, offering an affordable alternative to organic waste disposal at landfill. Since operations commenced in June 2017, Yarra Valley Water has diverted more than 20,000 tonnes of organic waste from landfill and

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produced more than 5,000,000kWh of electricity. At full production 8,600,000kWh of electricity will be produced. Yarra Valley Water aspires to generate 100 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2025. The organic waste is fed into an anaerobic digester (sealed vessel) where it is converted into methane or “biogas” in the absence of oxygen. The process captures the methane before it hits the environment and turns it into renewable energy. A by-product of the Waste-to-Energy facility process is “digestate” – a nutrient rich product which has the potential to be used as an organic soil nutrient or fertiliser. Yarra Valley Water is currently undertaking trials in relation to several commercial opportunities. “The Waste-to-Energy project was born out of our desire to reduce our business costs and pass the benefit back to our customers. Water utilities can be high energy users, especially through our production, distribution and treatment processes,” Mr McCafferty said. “As high energy users that are also impacted by climate change, we have

UTILITY • AUGUST 2018

multiple drivers to be a part of the solution. Victorian households and businesses generate more than two million tonnes of organic waste each year, almost half of which ends up in landfill. Communities and businesses have made it clear they want more opportunities to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill.” This facility alone produces about a quarter of Yarra Valley Water’s entire energy needs. In reducing the energy demands of the adjoining sewage treatment plant and by exporting energy back into the grid, it has helped reduce both Yarra Valley Water’s and Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to a healthier environment and community.

PROVIDING A SOLUTION FIT FOR AUSTRALIAN CONDITIONS Actively diverting organic waste from landfill extends the life of existing landfill sites, while the significant revenue and cost savings Yarra Valley Water receives from gate fees and the energy market contribute to keeping customers’ water bills affordable. “Projects like this don’t happen without an enabling culture that

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WA S T E MANAGEMENT

Yarra Valley Water, one of Australia's largest water utilities, has built an innovative Waste-to-Energy facility, which provides an environmentally friendly disposal solution for commercial organic waste. The purpose-built facility sits next to an existing sewage treatment plant in Aurora, and generates enough biogas to run both the facility and the adjoining sewage treatment plant, with the remaining 70 per cent, enough to power 1500 homes, exported to the electricity grid. supports achievement and innovation – and a way of thinking that sees what we do, inside of a bigger picture and broader community impact. This facility is the start of an exciting new chapter for the Victorian water sector in renewable energy production and waste to address the challenges our communities face,” Mr McCafferty said. “One of the challenges we faced was ensuring that the technology was adaptable for the Australian climate and the local commercial market. Designing the plant to cope with Melbourne’s highly variable climate, the tank membranes needing to work in temperatures as low as 2ºC and as high as 45ºC, was a vital issue which needed to be overcome. This problem

was solved by adapting the established European model to meet Australian standards, as well as the water industry’s extremely high safety and environmental expectations. “Another challenge was sourcing the waste to make sure that we had a steady flow to power the facility. We identified gaps in the management of organic wastes, conducted an international search of how this could be done better, and then moulded a business case to deliver a viable, cost-effective solution. We also made a conscious decision to separate the facility from our core business and rebranded the facility ReWaste to allow more flexibility and commercial freedom to operate within the

competitive waste industry.” The number of businesses looking for a sustainable alternative is far larger than Yarra Valley Water first realised, particularly once other types of organic wastes (such as liquid wastes, sludges and packaged food) are considered. The market for organic waste disposal in Melbourne is enormous with few market solutions available, making the utility’s offering a sought-after alternative to landfill. The success of the ReWaste facility shows that environmental projects can be commercially viable. It challenges the role water companies play in reducing the impacts of climate change and building a sustainable future.

To find out more about the project, visit www.yvw.com.au/wastetoenergy

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WOMEN IN UTILITIES

REBECCA SAYLES Employed by TasWater as a Senior Engineer, Asset Strategy, Rebecca Sayles has eight years’ experience in the water and wastewater sector as both a regulator of water utility activities and as a water utility professional. A well-respected practitioner in the Tasmanian water industry, Rebecca won the 2017 Australian Water Association’s Tasmanian Young Water Professional of the Year award, which recognises outstanding contribution and commitment to the state’s water industry. We recently caught up with Rebecca to find out more about her career highlights to date and her exciting award achievement.

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I

started my career working for the Environment Agency in the UK as an Environmental Planner in the Water Resources Team. After a couple of years I decided to go back to university and completed an industrial engineering doctorate at Cranfield University working with United Utilities, a large water utility in North West England. I was researching customer contributions to water sector planning and decision-making which was a very relevant research theme for the UK water sector at the time. My next role was based on the other side of the world in Tasmania where I’ve been working at TasWater, the statewide water utility, for the past two years in the Asset Strategy Team. I was thrilled to be nominated and then win the 2017 Tasmanian Young Water Professional of the Year award, which recognises those under 35 who have had outstanding career achievements to date, promoted careers in the water industry and raised awareness of water issues in the community. My nomination focused on my contribution to the development of customer-focused outcomes for the TasWater strategic framework that could be tangibly linked to its asset management system. These improvements to the strategic framework will hopefully set TasWater up for success in the future by enabling development of clear linkages between customer outcomes and infrastructure investment. In both the UK and Australia, I have really enjoyed engaging with university students and recent graduates to provide mentoring and support across my key knowledge areas of the water industry.

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CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR CURRENT ROLE? I’m currently working as an Asset Strategy engineer. It’s a pretty varied role but my main areas of responsibility are for the development of Strategic Masterplans for water systems across the state as well as statewide water supply-demand management. CAN YOU TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT A RECENT PROJECT YOU’VE WORKED ON — WHAT ARE YOUR KEY RESPONSIBILITIES, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU’VE FACED ON THIS PROJECT SO FAR AND HOW HAVE YOU SUCCESSFULLY OVERCOME THESE? Over the last summer I gained some responsibility for monitoring water supply-demand risk for some of our run-of-river systems. This was at times very challenging as the situation can be very dynamic. I worked closely with a team of internal stakeholders from across the organisation to ensure effective communication of risk levels across impacted systems and identify trigger points for the deployment of contingency options or demand management measures. WHAT ARE THE MAIN THINGS YOU ENJOY ABOUT WORKING IN THE UTILITY SECTOR? It’s never dull — there are always new challenges to work on. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAIN CHALLENGES FACING UTILITIES AT THE MOMENT? WHAT OPPORTUNITIES WILL ARISE FROM THESE CHALLENGES? New technologies such as IoT devices and AI/machine learning are providing significant opportunities to create a step-change in the efficiency of delivering customer outcomes. I think the challenge with this comes with how utilities adapt to take advantage of these opportunities particularly around business model and decision-making transformation, and workforce development.

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CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE MENTORS YOU’VE HAD THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER? I was lucky enough to have some excellent role models when I was starting out in the sector and the example they set in the way they approached their work as well as the guidance they provided really stuck with me. I’ve also got some great colleagues at TasWater who have helped me to get to grips with new processes and ways of doing things when I moved to Tassie as well as providing professional development and career advice. CAN YOU GIVE US SOME INSIGHT INTO YOUR EXPERIENCE WORKING IN SUCH A MALE-DOMINATED SECTOR — HAVE THERE BEEN ANY PARTICULAR CHALLENGES THAT YOU HAVE HAD TO OVERCOME? There are certainly some functions in utilities such as engineering, operations or project delivery that tend to have greater male representation but there are also functions within utilities where there can be greater female representation such as customer service or HR. In terms of challenges I’ve faced, I’ve seen and occasionally experienced unconscious gender bias. You can develop strategies to deal with this on a personal level but it’s great to see issues of diversity, equity and inclusion gaining traction at the organisational level and also sector-wide. DO YOU SEE YOURSELF CONTINUING TO WORK IN THE UTILITY SECTOR? Absolutely — I enjoy the variety of work and the continual opportunities to expand my knowledge and skills. CAN YOU PROVIDE A BIT OF BACKGROUND ON YOUR LIFE OUTSIDE OF WORK – ANY HOBBIES OR INTERESTS YOU CARE TO MENTION? ANY ACTIVITIES YOU ENJOY TO BALANCE THE DEMANDS OF A CHALLENGING PROFESSIONAL LIFE? My life outside of work is currently taken up with renovating my house — I’m definitely getting some use out of the project management skills I’ve picked up during my career! WWW.UTILITYMAGAZINE.COM.AU

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3 – 4 October 2018 | Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

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MICROTUNNELLING

How can contractors using larger microtunnelling machines meet specifications when tolerances are tight? For larger microtunnelling machines, German standards quote 50mm from the design line. However, some contractors feel this tolerance is too restrictive for large machines — such as say an AVN 2400 which could weigh some 50 tonnes — especially when tunnelling through soft, mixed soils. When using such machines, there is limited data that contractors can access to assess ground conditions, so ultimately accuracy will come down to experience and ensuring the client understands the achievable installation tolerance.

T

he major problem with projects where the microtunnelling machine is cutting through soft, mixed soil, is that there is not really an effective cutter available to use which caters to both ground types. Due to this, whichever cutter the contractor selects is going to have limitations because while it will need to allow for soft and hard ground, it’s not going to be good at either. As a result, this will affect tolerances which may be greater than the quoted standards. While we normally run in a smaller diameter — 2.4 — we’ve got more options available than those running larger machines. The Vermeer AXIS allows us to run a pilot line so that we can physically see and assess the ground conditions, and make design and cutter choices which will achieve the best accuracy and reduce the chances of complications arising. However, these capabilities are not available for larger machines like the AVNs, and they have to run a direct

jack with only the geotechnical information available to guide design and cutter decisions. The key for operators of larger microtunnelling machines is that the designer needs to be aware of equipment capabilities, and ensure that realistic expectations for the job are understood upfront to make sure that an outcome is achieved that both the contractor and client are comfortable with. Contractors who have a greater amount of experience with the machine and different ground conditions will be more likely to achieve tighter tolerances and results expected by the client than contractors who don’t have this depth of experience and perhaps don’t fully understand all the risks that they’re taking on in advance. Either way a good contractor would automatically be talking to the customer about tolerances before the job’s even commenced.

ABOUT STUART HARRISON Global microtunnelling pioneer Stuart Harrison is the Managing Director of Edge Underground, where he specialises in on­-grade microtunnelling installations with millimetre accuracy. Stuart is also the inventor of the Vermeer AXIS Guided Boring system, and he is constantly working to improve the effectiveness of this and other trenchless systems used in the installation of gravity sewers. To discuss your next microtunnelling installation, contact Stuart on

1300 JACKED or at stuart@edgeunderground.co

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Join us at our 2018 Victorian Water Industry Operations Conference & Exhibition

Bendigo Exhibition Centre 5 & 6 September 2018

Promoting best practice in water management by building the knowledge, skills and networks of operators. • • •

Listen to the experience of others through the latest “operational” technical and research based information through platform and poster presentations. View and discuss the latest advances in technical equipment, products and services with suppliers and trade consultants. Update their knowledge and skills through interaction with fellow water industry employees.

All industry personnel involved in the operation and maintenance of urban, rural and industrial water related infrastructure for the management, conveyance, treatment, discharge and reuse of water and trade wastes should attend this conference. The Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA) is a national association facilitating the collection, development and exchange of quality information between people undertaking operational roles in the water industry. Hosted by

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Advertisers’ index Abberfield Industries................................................... 31 AHD Trenchless............................................................ 13

CORROSION AND PREVENTION

All-Energy 2018.......................................................... 100

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RETAIL, BILLING & CRM WIOA TASTE TEST WRAP

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AMS Instrumentation & Calibration..............................10

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Aoun Constructions .................................................... 80

HORIZONTAL DIRECTIONAL DRILLING (HDD)

Australian Pump Industries (Aussie Pumps) ��������������� 15

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FEBRUARY 2019

Bintech Systems.......................................................... 19 Cadia Group..............................................................OBC ConnectiX.................................................................... 51

SALES DEADLINE 7 DECEMBER 2018

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Control Logic............................................................... 59 Corrosion and Prevention 2018.................................... 81 Edge Underground...................................................... 87

WIOA NSW

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MAPPING, GIS & SURVEYING

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Interflow...................................................................... 71

DAMS

UTILITY LOCATION

PUMPS, VALVES & FILTERS

SEWER REHABILITATION

Iplex Pipelines Australia................................................. 7

SYDNEY WATER

SWITCHGEAR

Esri Australia........................................................... 64-65 Filtec............................................................................ 30

EQUIPMENT & MACHINERY

Hydroflux..................................................................... 37

Kwik-ZIP....................................................................... 83

EMBEDDED NETWORKS

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Lonza........................................................................... 45 NCH Australia.............................................................. 25 NHP Electrical Engineering Products........................... 49

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INSPECTION, CCTV & CONDITION ASSESSMENT

EQUIPMENT & MACHINERY

ENERGY NETWORKS

MOBILITY

MICROTUNNELLING

VEGETATION MANAGEMENT

STORAGE

Primus Line.................................................................. 73 Projex Group.................................................................11 Quantum Filtration Medium................................... 20-21

SMART METERS

SUEZ............................................................................ 61

Thermo Fisher Scientific Australia............................... 33

IRRIGATION

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Trility............................................................................ 29 Utility Fusion................................................................ 12 VEGA Australia............................................................. 47

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A fantastic opportunity for the water industry to share experiences and learn from one another to improve the safety in the water industry. This is the first safety focussed event WIOA has conducted and we look forward to providing this valuable network for the benefit of safety professionals, operational leaders, the operators and suppliers to the industry.

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Utility Magazine August 2018 Digital Edition  

Utility August features include water operations and treatment; Renewables; Gas Pipelines; Stormwater; Waste Management; Asset Management; T...

Utility Magazine August 2018 Digital Edition  

Utility August features include water operations and treatment; Renewables; Gas Pipelines; Stormwater; Waste Management; Asset Management; T...