Water Journal : Water Journal March 2011
awa news regular features 40 MARCH 2011 water ANZBP Roadshow in Perth Attracts a Cross-sectoral Audience Gregory Priest, AWA Project Manager -- Sustainability In October 2010, the Australian and New Zealand Biosolids Partnership (ANZBP) held a National Biosolids Roadshow for the first time in Perth. Hosted by the Water Corporation, the event was attended by around 40 people who heard about the latest research supporting the sustainable management of biosolids. Attendees were from many backgrounds, including researchers, utilities, regulators, composters and farmers, which made for diverse and interesting discussion at the event. Roadshow attendees were joined by the ANZBP Advisory Board, who shared their experiences from eastern Australia. The group first heard from local manager of Biosolids Operations, Ian Toleman from the Water Corporation, who provided background to the day's discussion by outlining the Water Corporation's approach to biosolids management. Ian emphasised the importance of effective community engagement in managing storage and land application of biosolids. The group readily agreed that public attitude towards the use of biosolids has not been always been favourable and community concerns such as odour and transport routes need to be carefully managed. A contrasting comment came from a biosolids user, noting that he found the smell of biosolids quite agreeable and that the earthy smell suggested fertile soils. The next speaker, Curtin Water Quality Research Centre's Dr Yolanta Gruchlik, further addressed the issue of biosolids odour management and spoke of ongoing international research into the causes of odour and potential mitigation methods. Yolanta also outlined a partnered laboratory project to be undertaken by Curtin University and the Water Corporation to explore both physical and chemical methods for minimising odour production in biosolids. The topic of addressing public concerns continued, with Dr Deborah Pritchard (Curtin University) and Dr Kevin Ho (WA Chemical Centre) providing a crowd-friendly description of an innovative and forensic approach for assuring the public that biosolids can be safely used in the environment. The process described how DNA 'fingerprinting' is used as a method to identify the source of faecal material (animal vs. human) found in the environment, an effective risk management practice that addresses the question: "Where did that come from?". An eastern Australian perspective was then provided by ANZBP Advisory Board member, Karen Campisano, who described a novel trial undertaken by Melbourne Water in which clay-rich biosolids are used as a fill in the construction of roads, while other members of the ANZBP Advisory Board and management team, including Paul Darvodelsky (PSD Pty Ltd) and Dr Mike McLaughlin (CSIRO) presented outcomes of a number of ANZBP research projects. ANZBP research products explored included the following: • The ANZBP Literature Compendium of Biosolids Research, which was demonstrated as a bibliographical asset for project managers and researchers, as well as a tool for policy and communications officers. (contd. page 42) About the ANZBP The ANZBP is a subscription-based program formed in 2007 by the Australian water sector, to place the beneficial use of biosolids on a sustainable footing across Australia and New Zealand. The ANZBP resides within AWA, which has taken responsibility for implementing the program and its agreed business plan. The objectives of the ANZBP are to: • Support public engagement with respect to the sustainable management of biosolids in both Australia and New Zealand; • Support the Australian and New Zealand water industry on technical components of biosolids management; • Establish a global network of parties interested in the sustainable management of biosolids. Presentations from the Roadshow and summaries of ANZBP research can be found on the ANZBP website: www.biosolids.com.au. Membership enquiries are welcome and can be directed to Gregory Priest at AWA's National Office. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (02) 9467 8432.
Water Journal April 2011