Water Journal : Water Journal August 2011
technical features 64 AUGUST 2011 water governance osmosis. However, the same point is also a CCP for the Stage 2 Scheme, which has UV disinfection and chlorination post the deep bed filters. This is another example of the complexity of multiple products from one production facility. This arrangement of recycled water quality management plans addresses recycled water quality risks both strategically -- across all recycled water products and over the longer term; and functionally -- for specific schemes and in the shorter term. However, as noted previously, effective risk management begins at scheme inception. Sydney Water, therefore, documented its processes for managing risk through the life cycle of a recycled water scheme. Figure 4 provides an overview of this process. The principle behind this flow chart is that we identify, assess and manage risks across whole systems (from source to use) and over different time frames (immediate, short and long term). The extent of risk transfer between Sydney Water and its customers will depend in large part on the capability of the customer for managing risk. To assist in risk assessment, Sydney Water has developed a master risk register for its recycled water schemes. Since this register includes all risks identified in existing schemes, it is a useful starting point for assessing a new scheme. The scheme- specific risk assessment then applies this to the new scheme and includes any new risks that have been identified. While each scheme has its particular risk profile, some common themes emerge from the risk assessments. The principal risks for Sydney Water's recycled water schemes are public health risks, and the key hazard events are those that give rise to inadvertent exposure or those that result in reduced product quality from treatment. These risks tend to be acute, microbial-related risks rather than chemical risks. Exposure risks are dominated by the potential for inadvertent ingestion. Accordingly, controls primarily focus on treatment and cross-connections. As for dual reticulation schemes, inadvertent ingestion still dominates the risk profile of recycled water schemes for industrial and commercial end uses. Industrial schemes also consider the impact of recycled water quality on customers' products and processes. For the irrigation schemes, the longer- term environmental risks naturally take on greater significance, but in many cases cross-connections and plumbing hazard events still drive the risk profile. Summary and Future Directions Recycled water is still developing as a product, as is Sydney Water's understanding of how to manage the risks associated with it and of the systems required to do so. Figure 2 suggests a new paradigm for understanding wastewater treatment moving from an understanding of disposal towards recovery of resources. This must be tempered with an appreciation of sustainability in its fullest sense, including financial criteria. In the context of a large utility spanning water (drinking and recycled), wastewater and stormwater, the increased complexity of multiple recycled water products affects the financial sustainability of this approach and how one manages risks. Sydney Water's wide variety of recycled water products and schemes provides challenges for consistently managing risk following the principles and framework of the 2006 AGWR. However, the use of common business processes and procedures under the ISO system, incorporating ISO31000:2009, has enabled Sydney Water to achieve consistency of approach amid this variety. A key element of managing risk is ensuring that business processes address its dynamic nature. Figures 3 and 4 demonstrate Sydney Water's approach, which has been to focus on the outcome (protection of public health and the environment through effective risk management) and then ensure that its policies, processes and procedures are adequate and robust in delivering this. Recycled water is maturing as a product and development of business systems is reflective of this. As systems become more developed they will move away from "undertaking" new actions or initiatives and more towards routine activities. Sydney Water's current planning framework reflects this with the QMP- RWS more like a manual than a plan with specific actions. The Five-Year Plan addresses strategic gaps and actions and the scheme-specific plans cover scheme- specific functional improvements. The authors do not suggest that these systems will reach a point of no improvement, but rather that, following a customary product life cycle, the quantum of improvements will tend to decrease as products and systems mature. As the industry's understanding of risk and its management develops, the authors also propose that systems for achieving this must develop accordingly to ensure that they are sustainable business models. Acknowledgements The authors wish to thank Kelvin Chow, Morgaine Gilley and Haixiang Wang, who assisted in producing this paper. The Authors Gavin Landers (email: gavin.landers@ sydneywater.com.au) has over 10 years' experience at Sydney Water in Operations and Asset Management roles covering Drinking and Recycled Water Quality, Water and Wastewater Treatment and Planning. At the time of the work presented in this paper, he was Experienced Product Strategy Planner, Drinking and Recycled Water. He is currently Plant Manager, North West Filtration, at Sydney Water. Peter Chapman (email: peter.chapman@ sydneywater.com.au) has 20 years' experience in the water industry, predominantly with Sydney Water. During this time he has been responsible for the management of water networks, drinking water quality and recycled water. Peter is currently the Area Manager, Recycled Water Operations, Sydney Water. References Blayney B, Chapman P, Landers G & Storey M, 2009: 'Implementing the new national recycled water guidelines within an existing quality management system', AWA Ozwater'09. Davis C, 2010: 'Assembling the Re-use Jigsaw', Water Journal, Vol 37, No 8, p 5. Environment Protection and Heritage Council; Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council; Australian Health Ministers Conference 2006, Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling: Managing Health and Environmental Risks (Phase 1), Environment Protection and Heritage Council, Canberra, ACT, Australia. Landers G & Blayney B, 2009: 'Implementing the 2006 AGWR', AWA Reuse '09. Landers G & McLeod S, 2008: 'Risk Management Review of the Rouse Hill Dual Reticulation Scheme', Water Journal, Vol 35, No 8 pp 61--65. NSW Recycled Water Coordination Committee, 1993, NSW Guidelines for Urban and Residential Use of Reclaimed Water.
Water Journal September 2011
Water Journal July 2011