Water Journal : Water Journal June 2015
June 2015 water 45 Ozwater report Water treatment, always a strong and diverse stream, revealed the growing interest in biological treatment (typically by BAC – biological activated carbon treatment) to lower organic carbon levels and, hence, minimise DBPs (disinfection by-products). Papers by Du Toit, Mingo and Sawade all addressed this topic. Stormwater was the focus of an eclectic batch of papers that revealed growing interest, with quality measures, using radar for rainfall modelling and hydraulic controls being some of the topics presented. O’neill et al. homed in on Living Waterways and demonstrated that on-site controls are generally more effective than off-site interventions. Rural, regional, remote and isolated communities pose their own challenges in delivering reliable, secure and high quality water supplies. While many of the issues are consistent across the board, the added challenges brought about by distance, lower density communities, transient populations and resource-oriented communities add a level of complexity and sensitivity to the business of managing water and wastewater in regional and remote communities. The range of different topics presented at the sessions of Servicing Remote and Regional Communities and Challenges and Opportunities for Rural, Remote & Regional Communities reflected the range and depth of challenges associated with planning, design, management, maintenance and community engagement in non-urban environments. nanda Altavilla, of the NSW Office of Water, described some of the challenges in applying the Australian guidelines for water recycling in regional NSW and emphasised the importance of incorporating stakeholder feedback as part of the process by using examples from recent workshops held in Wagga Wagga and Orange. The work being done in the Antarctic at Davis Station promoted some robust debate around treatment and regulatory aspects involved in potentially delivering Australia's first direct potable reuse plant at Davis Station. Sallyanne Bartlett from Water Q Plus Pty Ltd outlined the importance of critical control points when considering a new approach to HACCP for remote and regional reuse schemes such as those proposed in the Antarctic. Stephen Gray (Victoria University) detailed the proposed water recycling reuse plant for Davis Station, which will see the raw wastewater being treated to a secondary effluent quality via a low-maintenance membrane bio-reactor. Further treatment will occur via a multi-barrier advanced water treatment plant. The plant is not expected to be commissioned for a one-year trial until later in 2016. Remote and isolated Indigenous communities were also featured in these sessions, with Cara Beal from Griffith University providing an overview of three smart meter-enabled water end-use pilot studies in regional and remote Queensland and the larger Remote and Isolated Communities Essential Service Projects that have just commenced in three Indigenous communities in central and northern Australia. A technique for measuring how much water can be sustainably extracted from aquifers (and the extent of saltwater intrusion risk) on Milingimbi Island, one of the larger Indigenous communities in NT, was described by eddie Banks from Flinders University. He explained the importance of having a robust conceptual model on which to base a detailed hydrogeological investigation of the long- term water supply on Milingimbi Island. Further south, the challenges of encouraging water consumption behaviour change to reduce water tank demand in off-grid holiday hamlets located along the Great Ocean Road was described by Steven Reddington of Barwon Water. The importance of community buy-in to the successful engagement of water conservation programs, by both owners and visitors, was emphasised in this largely successful program. Tasleem Hassan (Viridis Consultants) and Andrew Francis (Parkes Shire Council) detailed some of the approaches used to overcome the challenges associated with the complexity of managing a shared upstream and downstream water supply source in Parkes, NSW. In regional Victoria, the introduction of water pricing to enable the preservation of a viable recreation water body in an otherwise drought-strapped community around the Wimmera Lakes region was described by Mark Williams from GWM Water. nicolas Milne from Victoria University reviewed the range of decentralised treatment system solutions for regional and remote locations. His work re-emphasised the range of systems available that are currently in operation overseas and could be applied in Australia. Adam Medlock (TRILITY) described the value of utilising a holistic approach in ensuring successful operation of varying treatment processes within a single operations team, with emphasis on the Riverland Region of SA. The issues of liveability and sustainability were addressed by several authors. Westcott et al. examined the integrated approach adopted for the expanding area of Casey Clyde near Melbourne. They concluded that a substantial integrated approach could be delivered at a cost similar to that for a conventional centralised system. Morgan and May tackled another Victorian site, Bunbury, in an attempt to match water demand to alternative sources. They showed that available sources far exceeded demand, but achieving potable water quality was a major challenge. Still in the Melbourne area, Finlayson et al. developed a spreadsheet to model the current and future urban, rural and environmental water cycle for the Western Region of Greater Melbourne to inform the Government’s Water Future West strategy. Large population growth to 2050 will result in increases in water demands as well as pollutants entering waterways and Port Phillip Bay from both stormwater runoff and wastewater. Whole-of-system scenarios to reduce the demand for potable water from the Melbourne system, improve environmental outcomes for waterways and the Bay, and improve reliability of supply to agriculture were investigated. The primary conclusion of this work is that there is now a sufficient level of analysis undertaken, and enough analytical tools available to decision makers, to inform long-term strategy development for the integrated water cycle for the western region of Melbourne. The key issue is that value judgements now need to be made to develop a water strategy for the region. Tools provide data, but cannot make value judgements. Alex Sanbrook from Sydney Water presents on urban liveability.
Water Journal May 2015
Water Journal August 2015