Water Journal : Water Journal June 2015
June 2015 water 49 workshop reports Water futures WorkshoP By Dan Deere, Water Futures Guidelines For using Health-Based Targets To Set Requirements For Drinking Water Treatment The Water Quality Advisory Committee (WQAC) of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recently released an important discussion paper (Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, Health-Based Targets, Stakeholder Discussion Paper, 2014). The paper explored setting health-based microbial treatment requirements within a future revision of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG). The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) has been preparing the industry for the possible inclusion of this so-called health-based targets (HBT) approach within the ADWG. The purpose of this workshop was to provide practical training and problem solving support in the use of the WSAA HBT Manual. The WSAA HBT Manual starts by setting treatment objectives for drinking water sources based on sanitary survey information and microbial monitoring data. The document then discusses accrediting pathogen reduction performance to particular water treatment plants based on their type and performance. The manual has been developed and extensively pilot-tested by WSAA to provide a model for meeting HBT within water utilities that is intended to align with WSAA's estimate of what possible future revisions to the ADWG might look like. The manual has been developed by WSAA’s HBT Working Group (WG), which includes several participants who sit on the NHMRC’s WQAC. The WSAA Board has endorsed the concept of HBTs for members’ drinking water supplies in Australia. WQAC Chair, Dr David Cunliffe, explained that the NHMRC WQAC intends to complete the incorporation of HBT concepts into the ADWG in future years. David advised that the NHMRC would define the ‘what’ by setting out the principles and the requirements within its guidance. He went on to explain that the NHMRC would potentially then refer to the WSAA HBT Manual as the ‘how to’ guide. Experts from WSAA member utilities gave short presentations on four components of the HBT Manual (Drs Melita Stevens, Arran Canning, Andrew Ball and Mark Angles). After the first three of these talks the delegates took part in short workshops, during which they attempted to apply the HBT Manual to a case study system provided by one of the non-major urban Victorian water utilities. The workshop helped the HBT WG to gain insights into how to communicate the HBT Manual. The next steps involve the HBT WG meeting in July to review and revise the Manual drawing from the advice of delegates at the workshop, as well as to design a training program based on the experiences of the event. Overall, the workshop was a valuable opportunity for two-way communication of HBT concepts and their implications between WSAA and the broader industry. australian Water recYcling centre of excellence WorkshoP By Mark O’Donohue, AWRCoE Australia’s Validation Framework: The Path From Development To Implementation With continuing national support from Australia’s water industry, represented by health regulators, water utilities (large and small), private sector technology manufacturers and engineering consultants, the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence has continued to develop the scientifically robust and, from a regulatory perspective, efficient validation framework (NatVal) for water treatment technologies. In this workshop, the Centre reported that the practical implementation of all elements of this innovative framework is now proceeding in earnest. This includes the development of detailed validation protocols, and establishing independent processes for validation assessment and technology certification. Panel members in conversation at the Water Futures Workshop.
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