Water Journal : Water Journal August 2011
regular features 40 AUGUST 2011 water awa news A Day in the Life... AWA's Operations Specialist Network was established in 2007 with the aim of raising the profile of Operations in the water industry, giving it an Australia-wide voice. The network includes people working in all areas of water industry operations, from catchments and dams through to treatment processes -- water, wastewater, recycled water, desalination, industrial water -- and their associated transport systems, in both public and privately run businesses. Over the last few years, the network has engaged with members through dedicated streams and workshops at Ozwater'07, Enviro '08, Ozwater'09, and Ozwater'11, and in 2010 launched the inaugural National Operations Conference in Sydney. Plans are now in place for the 2nd National Operations Conference to be held in Darwin in September 2012. The network provides meaningful networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities for all members and is run by a committee with strong national representation. The committee is made up of a dedicated group of AWA members who give their time to work on developing activities to benefit the broader membership of the network. To give you an insight into the varied work of our committee, in this issue we profile Duncan Griffin, Manager Water Operations -- Remote Operations with Power and Water in Darwin. How did you get into Operations for Power and Water? I have worked in several engineering fields -- mining (Operations & Design), oilfields (Wireline) and civil (Dredging & Residential Land Development). A move to town was mooted by my wife following years of fly-in/fly-out rosters. I started work with PowerWater Corporation (PWC) as an Infrastructure Engineer for Remote Operations (RO). I then progressed to Water and Sewerage Operations Management RO, supervising the supply of water and sewer services to the NT's remote communities. How would you describe your job to others? My job involves the management of the daily delivery of water and sewer services to remote communities and outstations in the NT, and of the assets and people that make these services possible. Assets typically range from water source (borefield) through water rising mains, treatment, storage, distribution, sewer collection, sewer pump stations and sewer rising mains, waste stabilisation ponds and spray dispersion. People include PWC Service Coordinators in major centres who, in turn, supervise contract Essential Service Operators (ESOs) in the communities. ESOs undertake daily inspections of PWC assets and communicate with the Service Coordinators to undertake minor repairs and cyclic maintenance through the use of panel contractors. My duties include managing service delivery issues and complaints, asset management (breakdown, cyclic maintenance and minor new works programs), through to the development of long-term planning objectives. This is performed in conjunction with Infrastructure Development, Water Quality and Water Planning teams in PWC. I also have input into local government and Indigenous employment program schemes through my Community Liaison officers. Describe a typical day in your life Get coffee (to counteract lack of sleep from little kids). Walk around with Service Coordinators and Community Liaison Officers in the Darwin office to gather info on issues occurring overnight with outages/ESOs/contractors/projects/access/ weather/wildlife etc. Deal with issues that are physically possible to deal with. Go through the Darwin Daily Schedule Call from the community ESOs to check on other issues on the ground. Check against asset telemetry where possible. Call on Service Coordinators out bush to check on their progress. By now someone has probably organised a meeting for me to attend! Check with Katherine Coordinators on issues in the Katherine Schedule Call as well as contractor and project issues. Check and approve invoices for various maintenance works and projects. Have heart attack at escalating piracy in the Arafura Sea. Do the rounds with Water Quality, Water Planning and Infrastructure people to discuss current projects. Consult Alice Springs and Tenant Creek Water Ops Manager for updates. Haven't had a meeting for a while, so am probably missing one at the moment! Try to address environmental and safety concerns raised in convoluted OHS database. Ask for more money again to fix infrastructure. Make it to another meeting. This may or may not be the one I was invited to. Organise trip out bush to inspect assets next week. Check that Air Charter Company was not the one that had two planes crash last month. Go home. Take calls from Coordinators and ESOs on various dramas unfolding. Check asset telemetry. Sleep. An elevated tank assembly at Warruwi, Goulburn Island. Duncan Griffin, Manager Water Operations -- Remote Operations, Darwin.
Water Journal September 2011
Water Journal July 2011