Water Journal : Water Journal December 2011
industry news regular features 22 DECEMBER 2011 water groundwater replenishment is recognised as an integral part of both the trial's community engagement program and the Water Corporation's ongoing commitment to water education. Free tours of the Advanced Water Recycling Plant have been offered to metropolitan school students in Years 5--12, supported by a Corporation initiative to cover transport costs for 50 schools during the second half of 2011. School tours are now fully booked until the end of 2011. Review of Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and Community Water Planner Australia's recognition of the significance of providing safe drinking water, good sanitation and hygiene has improved the health and life expectancy of Australians. However, producing safe drinking water is an ongoing challenge that can never be taken for granted by those responsible for producing and regulating drinking water supplies. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has provided guidance in this field for over 40 years and the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) are recognised as the authoritative Australian reference on drinking water supplies. The ADWG are used by agencies associated with the supply of drinking water, including catchment and water resource managers, drinking water suppliers, water regulators and health authorities. They form the basis of State and Territory legislation, Memorandums of Understanding and Codes of Practice. The ADWG are reviewed on a rolling basis by NHMRC, which is reflective of the importance NHMRC places on ensuring the guidelines retain currency with the latest scientific evidence. The latest version was released in late October 2011 at the South-East Queensland Water Grid Emergency Management Room. Development and maintenance of the ADWG content was jointly funded and endorsed by NHMRC and the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council (NRMMC*). In conjunction with the ADWG, NHMRC and the National Water Commission (NWC) released the upgraded Community Water Planner (CWP), designed to assist operators of small water supplies in rural and remote areas to implement the ADWG. The 2011 ADWG edition has retained the major structural change and focus of the 2004 edition. The change was undertaken to enable assurance of drinking water quality before supply and was achieved via the addition of a comprehensive risk management approach (the Framework for Management of Drinking Water Quality -- the 'Framework'). Previously the quality of drinking water was determined based on water test results, which were inevitably not available until after the water had been consumed and were, therefore, too late to prevent illness. The Framework was introduced in 2004 after several reminders that when things go wrong the consequences can be severe. In 1993 a single outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis in the US1 caused over 400,000 illnesses, while in 2000, seven people died and over 2000 people became ill following E. coli contamination of a small water supply in Canada2. Australia was reminded of the sensitivity of water supplies in 1998 when residents of Sydney were advised to boil their drinking water for several weeks as a result of detection of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in Warragamba Dam. The Framework has been particularly successful and has been applied to water supplies ranging from rainwater tanks to major capital cities. It is a practical flexible approach that significantly improves the quality assurance of drinking water supplies. Changes to the ADWG: The latest review of the ADWG began in 2007 and was completed in 2010. The review priorities were determined following consultation with stakeholder groups, with the revision process overseen by the NHMRC Water Quality Advisory Committee (WQAC). Five key areas were reviewed, resulting in the following changes: • The addition of over 120 new Fact Sheets, and 30 updated Fact Sheets on micro-organisms, blue-green algal toxins, inorganic and organic chemicals including emerging parameters such as the disinfection by-product NDMA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine). Most of the Fact Sheets deal with health parameters, but some deal with acceptability issues such as taste and odour and total dissolved solids or salinity; www.tecpro.com.au Filter Nozzles for Every Application New & inexpensive Filter Nozzles make system upgrades easy Call (02) 9634 3370, or email email@example.com for a comprehensive catalogue and the right technical advice Custom designs can also be made to match the specifications of existing nozzles if required A school tour at the centre.
Water Journal April 2012
Water Journal November 2011