Water Journal : Water Journal August 2012
governance refereed paper technical features 60 AUGUST 2012 water Increased stringency = increased monitoring? If ADWG stringency increases, it may lead to prescribed increases in water quality sampling both in source and treated waters. An example of this is in North America, where mandatory data collection for all regulated parameters -- as well as several unregulated contaminants -- drives future regulation. Karanis et al. (2007) documented a total of 325 global outbreaks associated with waterborne transmission of pathogenic protozoa. Distribution of these events, shown in Table 8, found 60% occurred in North America, 33% in the UK, and 2% in Australia and New Zealand. One possibility of the increased morbidity in North America and the UK has been theorised as related to their increased level of required monitoring. Will increased monitoring in Australia l ead to a perception of decreased quality? Conclusion Based on population growth and historical drinking water perspectives from other regions around the world, it is possible that the drinking water regulatory environment in Australia will change. Future ADWG revisions may become more stringent, even with the balance of public health protection placed upon states, territories and individual systems. Increased stringency may include: 1. Regulation of increasing numbers of constituents; 2. Imposed treatment techniques for the improved removal and/or inactivation of pathogens; 3. Imposed treatment techniques for the removal of natural organic matter to reduce DBPs; and, 4. Increased water quality data monitoring. It is possible that increased stringency may not be realised in the future ADWG. Australia is not as densely populated as many other parts of the world and consumers have been well protected by water treatment provided by Australian utilities. Regardless of reaching this outcome, one adage of the ADWG's founding principles should ring true: "System operators must maintain a personal sense of responsibility and dedication to providing consumers with safe water..." ADWG 1-3 Based upon this call to action, it is important to continually strive to improve and protect public health. In order to either meet increased stringency or to proactively implement improvements that increase water quality or enhance treatment, planning is a must. Figure 2 provides an example of roadmap methodology that can be used to monitor drivers for change, fully develop the objectives needed to meet those drivers, and implement new water quality strategies, programs and projects that will meet whatever regulatory timeline exists. Australian utilities, working with state or territorial regulatory agencies, should be free to implement investigative programs. These programs should not be for the purpose of increasing DWQMP stringency, but allow utilities to better understand their systems, better quantify risks, and provide insight into how system improvements can be made to result in increased ease of operations, decreased costs, and a better understanding of water quality and treatment. Utilities will develop a better knowledge base of needs, goals and directives/outcomes by this healthy investigation and sharing of information. This paper was originally presented at Ozwater'12 in May. The Authors Alex Mofidi (email: Alexander.Mofidi@aecom. com) is Associate Director for Water Treatment in AECOM's Brisbane, Queensland office. He specialises in global drinking water quality and treatment optimisation and has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings on related topics. He was previously a utility water quality manager in California, overseeing more than 2,000 MLD of treatment. Peter Hillis (email: Peter.Hillis@aecom.com) joined AECOM in 2011 as Technical Director for Water Treatment, specialising in water treatment process design, membrane technology for water and wastewater treatment, research and development, and pilot plant investigations. Peter is based out of AECOM's Melbourne, Victoria office, but operates across the Australia and New Zealand region, and supports AECOM's global water treatment practice. James Evans (email: james.evans@ aecom.com) is a Graduate Engineer in AECOM's Brisbane, Queensland office. Table 8. Percentage association of recorded drinking water disease outbreaks with population. Region Population (Millions) Outbreak Percentage** North America 338* 60 Europe/UK 499* 24 Australia & New Zealand 25† 2 * World Bank (www.data.worldbank.org) ** Karanis et al., 2007 † Australian Bureau of Statistics (www.abs.gov.au) Figure 2. Example guideline for developing water quality strategies, programs and projects in response to a changing regulatory environment.
Water Journal September 2012-1
Water Journal July 2012