Water Journal : Water Journal April 2012
industry news regular features 26 APRIL 2012 water NWC's Role Extended Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, has announced that the Government proposes to continue the National Water Commission (NWC) to oversee the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) national water reform agenda. Following an independent review by Dr David Rosalky in 2011, the Gillard Government has proposed to extend the NWC's role and its ongoing provision of robust and transparent oversight of COAG water reform through the National Water Initiative. "When the National Water Commission was established under the former Coalition Government, it was for a fixed time frame only," Senator Farrell said. "But the Gillard Government recognises the importance of the ongoing role of the Commission in overseeing the COAG water reform agenda and that's why we believe it should continue. "The Government supports the National Water Initiative and Murray--Darling Basin reforms and sees the National Water Commission as the best means of providing independent assurance on the progress of all governments." As required under the National Water Commission Act 2004, the Government commissioned an independent review of the NWC last year with Terms of Reference agreed by COAG. That review recommended that the NWC continue for the life of the National Water Initiative and that it should be refocused on four key functions: audit, monitoring, assessment and knowledge leadership. After considering Dr Rosalky's review, the Government has determined that the NWC should indeed continue for the life of the National Water Initiative with core ongoing functions of audit, monitoring and assessment. This will ensure the NWC can give priority to its valuable role as a credible, specialist and independent agency supporting national water reforms. Full Steam Ahead at the MCG Building work is well underway on Victoria's largest underground Water Recycling Facility (WRF) in Yarra Park adjacent to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), despite an especially wild and wet summer that plagued the east coast of Australia. The recycling facility is the major component of the $22 million scheme to treat and re-use sewage from the local sewerage network to irrigate Yarra Park and nearby Punt Road Oval, and for cleaning and toilet flushing at the MCG. Once completed, the plant will be able to produce over 600 kilolitres of Class A recycled water per day. Tenix was awarded the contract to design, build and operate the recycling facility, along with some of the associated infrastructure. The scheme is jointly funded by the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) ($16 million) and the Victorian Government ($6 million). As one of the first of its type in Victoria, the Tenix-designed sewer mining facility is being built underground, out of public view, preserving valuable surface land use and park amenity. A special focus during construction has been to preserve and maintain the trees in the park, which has included a number of environmental-impact control measures. The MCC is keen to ensure that the design, construction and operation of the plant minimises any impact on the heritage- listed park, its users and other stakeholders, including residents and regulatory authorities. The MCC also wishes to retain the aesthetics of the existing parkland and maintain the availability of parking for those attending events at the MCG and other stadiums in the precinct, including Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena and AAMI Park. 3D modeling enabled the identification of potential construction clashes and construction- sequencing, procurement and operations and maintenance issues, resulting in a drastically reduced footprint, saving approximately 30 per cent in area, 15 per cent in the finished depth and enabling the retention of some significant trees within the parkland. The recycled water treatment process consists of screening and grit removal, biological treatment of the sewage and chemical addition for phosphate removal, filtration via membrane bioreactor (MBR) and ultrafiltration (UF) membrane systems, plus disinfection via ultraviolet (UV) and chlorination. The underground plant will have a trafficable roof, architecturally designed entry and egress with a box lift and chemical unloading area. Associated infrastructure on the inlet side includes the sewer connection, diversion pipeline, pumping station and a rising main. Other infrastructure includes the connections into the MCG under the concourse to a pre-existing storage tank and to Punt Road Oval storage, as well as a pump station and sludge return gravity line downstream of the sewerage takeoff. Tenix's in-house engineering team has worked collaboratively with the MCC to ensure that all project requirements are met, and has also developed a number of technical and operational improvements to the original plant concept. Construction techniques were selected to secure and protect the root zones of trees (soil nails and directional drilling), while seeding of soil stockpiles and silt fences are being employed to further protect the parkland. The diversion offtake was moved to limit impact on traffic and local residents and truck washing is being used to reduce safety hazards due to the build-up of mud on paths and roads. Pre-tensioned concrete panels were used for the bunker and fabricated off-site to minimise construction time and improve safety during construction. Floors and walls of the bunker were poured in situ. The walls were constructed using PERI formwork and the roof bunker roof was water-proofed using membrane technology,used in major sporting stadiums around the world. Tenix has now completed 14 turnkey MBR and MBR/RO plants for potable water replacement, irrigation or beneficial discharge to the environment, with another three MBR plants under construction and others in design and piloting.
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