2009 – 34th Queensland Water Industry Operations Workshop

16th to 18th June, 2009 – Caloundra Indoor Sports Stadium, Sunshine Coast

Supported by: Sunshine Coast Regional Council & WITA
with assistance from: Rad-Tel Systems, ITT Water and Wastewater, Acromet, ABS Wastewater Technology, Australian Water Association & Queensland Government

The following papers appear in order of the Workshop Program

WIOA REPORT  Cynthia Lim – WIOA

EVALUATION OF SOUTH EAST QUEENSLAND WASTEWATER PLANTS’ INLET SCREENS PERFORMANCE Mark Wilson – Gold Coast Water

+Abstract

The removal of screenings in a wastewater treatment plant pre-treatment facility is crucial to protect and prolong the life of downstream equipment – a pre-requisite for reliable plant performance. Unfortunately reliable, unbiased full-scale operations performance data for such vital equipment is scarce. There are a number of limitations preventing the accurate calculation of screenings capture rates, primarily the inability to quantify the total flux of screenings into a wastewater treatment plant with the raw sewage. In a cooperative effort between SEQ local governments, these limitations have been managed by averaging the performance of each generic type of screen across a range of catchments, resulting in the compilation of meaningful screening removal performance data. Analysis of the data collected from 31 wastewater treatment plants found no evidence of a clearly superior screen type, although band screens, spiral sieves and step screens all performed well. Neither average dry weather flow nor screen aperture size alone were found to correlate with screen performance.

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IMPLEMENTATION OF TEMPORARY WATER FILTRATION AT BRIGHT Rex Humphreys – North East Water

+Abstract

Bright is a sub-Alpine tourist town located in North East Victoria. The Bright water supply is directly taken from the Ovens River with Chlorine disinfection only. Historically, the water quality has met the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines turbidity standard, however since the 2003 and more recent 2006/07 bushfires, the water quality has declined, with sustained turbidity levels exceeding 5 NTU.

Ongoing Boil Water Notices and numerous customer complaints led to North East Water implementing temporary filtration at Bright. This paper scopes the planning, construction and commissioning of a 3ML/day containerised filtration WTP at Bright.

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ONLINE LEARNING – THE FUTURE OF TRAINING IN THE WATER INDUSTRY IN QUEENSLAND Helen Leeson – Wide Bay Institute of TAFE & Graham Cole – Wide Bay Water

+Abstract

Typically, the water industry consists of a geographically dispersed workforce that includes remote locations, workforce limitations and budget restrictions. This is partly why attracting and retaining staff has become such an issue for many water authorities. There are also public perceptions of the water industry that reflect old fashioned notions of the “Water Board” with its associated negative connotations- unskilled dirty, boring work with little chance of advancement and little prospect of a rewarding career.

Surveys of the water industry carried out during 2007 and 2008 show the problem will only get worse if the industry takes no action to address the root causes.

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WHY WE NEED AUTOMATED WELL WASHERS INSTALLED IN PUMP STATIONS Brett McCasker – Wise Waste Solutions

+Abstract

There are a number of problems associated with pump stations such as the accumulation of fats and grease on wall’s and components leading to disruptions to pumps and level sensors because of the build up of fats and solids. The other issue is that of confined space entry for the cleaning crews and the dangers they face from noxious gases and slippery working conditions. During a trial at a Pine Rivers pump station which was fitted with the new SR2 Automated Well Washer it was found that most of the problems and issue’s with that pump station were rectified within one month without the need for confined space entry or cleaning crews.

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OPTIMISATION OF IMAGE FLAT WATER TREATMENT PLANT Tony Humphries – SEQ Water

+Abstract

The South Maroochy System was the original water supply to the Maroochy Shire, now part of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council. It was constructed progressively between 1959 (Intake Weir) to 1979 (Cooloolabin Dam). The South Maroochy System to this day supplies approximately 45% of the old Maroochy Shire, which includes townships such as Nambour, Woombye, Palmwoods to the south, and Eumundi, Coolum, South Peregian to the north.

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TRANSITION * INHERITANCE * SCOPE
 John Granzien – SEQ Water

+Abstract

This paper is being presented not as a highly technical paper, but it is what it is, and what has happened in the South East Queensland Water Industry during the last 12 months or so. The reformation processes that have occurred, and also the new vision for the future of the water supply industry in this area, can, and no doubt will be beneficial one in the long term. It is not the be all or end all of happiness and/or frustrations, but if we keep focused on what is required of us as individuals, together we will make it work.

Motto: You have to be serious about what you are required to do, but you do not have to be serious in how you do it. Keep smiling.

Prior to presenting this paper I would just like to make it clear that the content is derived from my experience in water treatment operations as a “hands-on” worker from the coalface. There is no intended malice towards any individual, or “finger-pointing” towards any level of government.

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PRACTICAL ISSUES IN COMMISSIONING A SIMPLE STORM WATER HARVESTING SYSTEM FOR WATER QUALITY Gordon King – B2P Australia

+Abstract

Ku-ring-gai Council in Sydney has been very active in promoting water harvesting and re-use schemes. The St Ives Bowling Club decided to install a storm water harvesting system to replace their reliance on town water as previous drought restrictions had caused damage to some greens. Their Development Application required water quality testing to occur over a six week period which included sampling after at least one high rainfall event. The E. coli levels had to comply with the NSW DECC Level 3 guidelines (<1000/100ml). The commissioning period actually extended to 4 months with storm water irrigation having to be used throughout this time. This had not been envisaged by the various authorities involved. The reasons for this, the design of the sampling protocol used and the variation in the results and its implications are discussed. B2P field test kits were used and some brief comments are made with regard to their use and comparative laboratory tests carried out on these samples.[/show_more] REACTIVE SOILS CAN BE VICIOUS Des Grevell – Storm Plastics

+Abstract

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When we talk about reactive soils, we don’t mean reactive soils as in radio–active soils from a nuclear test site or a toxic waste dump. While that type of soil may be detrimental or even deadly to health the effect of the reactive soils discussed here can be destructive to buildings and the underground pipes and fittings used to service these buildings, be they large commercial buildings or domestic houses, herein we will only discuss the latter.

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TARCUTTA TREATMENT PLANT IRON AND MANGANESE REMOVAL Peter Outtrim – Riverina Water County Council

+Abstract

This paper covers the upgrade to the Water Treatment Plant at Tarcutta village located on the Hume highway between Sydney and Melbourne.  The upgrade was necessary to achieve removal of soluble iron and manganese from the source water prior to chlorination of the village supply. The paper will essentially focus on the process which we went through to find suitable technologies for this removal.

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STARTUP & COMMISSIONING OF A LOW LOADED WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT Charlie Suggate – Gold Coast Water

+Abstract

The Pimpama Treatment Plant was built as part of Gold Coast Water’s Pimpama-Coomera Waterfuture Master Plan to provide Class A+ recycled water to the surrounding community. The plant consists of a wastewater treatment plant which was commissioned late 2008 followed by a recycled water treatment plant that is now at the final stages of commissioning. Included in this paper is a discussion of various challenges encountered during the startup and commissioning phases of the wastewater treatment plant. Throughout this period the operations team benefited by gaining expanded knowledge and experience in addressing issues that would otherwise rarely
be encountered during typical daily plant operation.

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VERMIN PROOFING POTABLE WATER STORAGE TANKS Jai Josey – Sunshine Coast Water

+Abstract

Many concrete reservoirs installed in South East Queensland have a similar style of ventilation system in their upper wall areas. Over time, the original fine wire mesh covering the ventilation holes cast into the walls has corroded away. In many cases, this has left them open to bird entry and contamination by wind-born debris.

Replacing the wire mesh coverings to ensure that water quality could be protected posed a difficult but interesting challenge. At three reservoirs owned and operated by Sunshine Coast Water, an innovative method of installing stainless steel security mesh panels as a replacement was adopted to combat site access issues and to provide a much longer lasting solution.

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OVERCOMING DIFFICULTIES IN PROVIDING ACCURATE CONTINUOUS ONLINE DISSOLVED SULFIDE MONITORING AT GOLD COAST Ian Johnson – Gold Coast Water

+Abstract

Located in the south-east corner of Queensland Australia, the Gold Coast enjoys a tropical climate with warm temperatures, and boasts a number of extensive waterfront property developments. Gold Coast Water (GCW) manages wastewater catchments designed to cater for this particular type of landscape including a high water table and high salt water ingress. With a total of 600+ wastewater pump stations (PS) operating within all GCW catchments, high wastewater retention is inevitable, producing the ideal environment for the production of dissolved sulfide (H2S).

As part of an ARC-funded joint project with GCW, Sydney Water and the Advanced Water Management Centre, University of Queensland (UQ), work was completed to investigate the production of H2S.

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FLOW METERING STORAGE TANKS FROM THE INSIDE Sam Magill – Aqualift Potable Diving

+Abstract

The design and installation of internally mounted flow meters in water storage reservoirs has been developed to overcome a number of issues that commonly occur when external pipe work requires modification.

Divers are able to install preassembled (HDPE pipe work / flow meter) units, custom made to fit the constraints of each individual reservoir in a matter of hours while the reservoir remains full of water. This minimises the disruption to the water supply and avoids problems associated with digging up pipe work and building new valve pits in areas outside the reservoir where adequate space is often an issue.

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SKILLSTECH AUSTRALIA – NWP07 TRAINING UPDATE Leon Weaver – SkillsTech Australia

+Abstract

The future direction of Water Industry Training within Queensland and indeed Australia is now firmly on track with the National Qualifications Framework (AQF) but a question lingers: I can see light at the end of the tunnel but why is that whistle blowing?

Recent skills audits of amalgamated or restructured Water infrastructure has revealed that most senior operators hold qualifications previous to the initial 1998 Water Industry Training Package UTW98, and employers are requesting Operators up-skill or seek Recognition of Prior Learning(RPL) in the Water Industry’s new Training Package NWP07.

This presentation intends to show how the Water–Team at SkillsTech Australia (previously OLI – Open Learning Institute) have been working diligently to maintain our 30 years status as significant provider for Water Industry Training, by levelling the playing field with flexible training that best suits the individual and industry needs.

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BETTER ACCESS TO APPROPRIATE TRAINING FOR THE QUEENSLAND WATER INDUSTRY Rob Fearon – Queensland Water Directorate

+Abstract

A common complaint of the Queensland water industry is that it is difficult to access training that is tailored to the needs of water service providers. Current Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) delivering water industry training in Queensland have well recognised strengths but the demands of the industry for improved training products and new delivery approaches are outstripping the capacity of RTOs.

This situation is likely to get worse in the next few years. Skills shortages in technical industries, retirement of long-tem workers in an industry dominated by ‘baby boomers’ and increasing community and regulatory standards all contribute to what will be a critical issue for the water industry in the next decade.

The Queensland Water Directorate (qldwater) is a membership body for water service providers in Queensland and represents more than 95% of the, predominantly local government, water industry. Attraction and retention of staff is a principal concern of qldwater members and there is strong support at all levels for a program to develop better access to training to support staff recognition, career paths and skills development of water industry workers.

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NATIONAL LEARNING RESOURCES FOR THE WATER INDUSTRY Wayne Morling – Government Skills Australia

+Abstract

Access to training and assessment for water industry operations personnel continues to be problematic. With the introduction of national training packages, minimum industry performance standards have been developed. However, it remains difficult for industry to progress its personnel to desired levels of performance, in the absence of suitable training and assessment.

While there are approximately 20 or so, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) who have included the water training package on their scope of registration, many of them have not developed, or do not have access to resource materials which support delivery and assessment. And generally, the organisations that have resource materials have in most instances specialised, for example, the delivery of training and assessment for the treatment stream only.

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OPERATION OF SPILLWAY GATES – HOW TO AVOID THE PROBLEMS AND PITFALLS Peter Allen – DERM

+Abstract

The regulation of dam safety in Queensland is administered by the Dam Safety group of the Department of Environment and Resource Management. The department applies dam safety conditions to dams that would put lives at risk if they were to fail. Spillway gates allow the dam owner some flexibility in the operation of a dam both in terms of flood operations and for environmental releases. However, this flexibility comes at a cost. They require ongoing preparedness and trained personnel need to be on hand at all times.

The paper details how spillway gates are normally operated; the systems and training necessary to operate spillway gates effectively; the regulatory arrangements that apply to referable dams in Queensland; some of the problems encountered and how to avoid these problems.

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OPTIMISATION OF DEWATERING CENTRIFUGES Michael Thomas – Sunshine Coast Water

+Abstract

Biosolids disposal costs represent a significant proportion of a wastewater plant’s operating budget and the optimization of biosolids dewatering offers the best opportunity for minimizing these costs. A generic systematic approach that can be used for optimization of any centrifuge will be presented, and results will be reported for the optimum settings determined in a case study at Maroochydore STP. The outcomes of the centrifuge optimization program were that the dewatered cake dryness was improved from 17% to 21%TS, and the operations team gained valuable knowledge and experience with regard to fine-tuning the centrifuge. The results indicated that maximizing the residence time in the centrifuge bowl and achieving optimum poly-sludge surface chemistry were the critical parameters for optimum dewatering performance.

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BLENDING EVALUATION AS A TOOL FOR MANAGING DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM WATER QUALITY
 Kylee M. Dewis – Sinclair Knight Merz

+Abstract

A blending evaluation is a planning tool that can be particularly helpful when considering introducing new or additional source waters to a water system. A blending evaluation is a systematic approach to addressing the likely water quality impacts of changing source waters and if necessary, potential mitigation approaches. This paper discusses two North American case studies and a blending methodology that could be applied by any water system to plan for and mitigate a wide range of potential water quality issues.

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