2018 – 81st WIOA Victorian Water Industry Operations Conference & Exhibition

5 & 6 September 2018 – Bendigo Exhibition Centre

Supported by: Victorian Regional Water Corporations represented by Barwon Water, Goulburn Valley Water and Western Water.
Prime Sponsors: Calix, Filtec, Hach, Ixom, Polymaster and Xylem

The following papers are listed in order of the conference program

Biological phosphorus removal at the Gippsland Water Factor Ryan Snell & Adrian Harper – Gippsland Water

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The Gippsland Water Factory is a Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) site that treats ~12 ML/d of domestic influent. It was designed for biological nitrogen removal and chemical phosphorus removal but has been modified to effectively and efficiently remove phosphorus biologically to consistently achieve phosphorus effluent targets. This paper outlines a simple modification that was implemented and also the other factors influencing biological phosphorus removal.

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The challenges and opportunities in developing sustainable recycled water supplies in an uncertain future Meg Humphrys – Westernport Water

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For Westernport Water, developing recycled water supplies provides the opportunity to reduce effluent discharges to the marine environment; particularly during summer months when nutrient influxes to wastewater treatment plants are greatest. However, maintaining sustainable recycled water schemes is challenging. This is due to the changing perceived value of recycled water (which can be dependent on recent rainfall), the cost and energy consumption required to produce recycled water – (particularly Class A recycled water), the limited irrigation season where recycled water is used for predominantly outdoor purposes and the limited control water corporations have on the use of recycled water by commercial customers. These challenges and opportunities are addressed through a Recycled Water Strategy (RWS) that takes a longer term outlook (up to 2050) to assist Westernport Water to make business decisions that consider the social, economic and environmental aspects of growing its recycled water supplies.

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Tarago pre-filter chlorination trial for manganese removal at Tarago WTP Hannah Kelly – Melbourne Water

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Tarago water treatment plant is a dissolved air floatation/filtration plant which sources water from Tarago reservoir and supplies up to 70 ML/d to the Westernport and Mornington Peninsula areas. At times the soluble manganese concentration in the treated water can exceed 0.05 mg/L which has contributed to dirty treated water events, despite these levels being well below both the health and aesthetic guideline values for manganese (0.5 mg/L and 0.1 mg/L respectively) cited in the Australian DrinkingWater Guidelines (ADWG). TaragoWTP can dose potassium permanganate at the head of the plant if required, however, it is not well suited to treating manganese levels down to the ADWG discretionary target of 0.01 mg/L. Sodium hypochlorite dosing was installed on the inlet to a single filter to evaluate the efficacy of pre-filter chlorination on the concentration of soluble manganese removal in the filtered water. In addition, the trial aimed to quantify the design requirements for implementation on a full scale. The trial was conducted for a 13-month period from April 2017 to May 2018. The data obtained suggest that dosing to maintain a residual of 0.15 mg/L Chlorine on the filter outlet achieves effective manganese removal.

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Spot market influences and power shedding principles Michael Chapman – North East Water

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This paper informs organisations of potential power savings, techniques and principals that have come about through North EastWater moving to a spot market power agreement rather than a fixed price contract. While the spot market has potential for significant overall power cost savings it also exposes organisations to the volatility within the market. This volatility is usually absorbed by the power retailers and is considered when setting the fixed price. This paper helps to inform organisations of the risks and benefits of being on the spot price market. We will highlight some simple power shedding principals to avoid high price events and show actual demand reductions and cost savings associated with these price spikes and will demonstrate what our response so far and what our future plans for managing power into the future. We will show that as our level of comfort with being in the spot market increases and our operational control improves we can make further savings on our total power costs. Through these savings, investment into renewable or alternative power sources will give us further resilience around high price events and give us greater flexibility in managing unplanned power related events.

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Multi sensor inspection pipeline condition assessment Dave Neru – HydroTech Group

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Performance and getting the life of out of our underground assets is more vital than ever before. Whether it be for economic, service or environmental reasons, understanding the condition of our pipe network is critical to making good decisions. Technology available today can assist us in understanding the condition and to a degree the future condition of our pipes. Laser and sonar profiling provide the opportunity to view our pipe assets in ways we have never been able to do, unless we have dug up the pipe. Combining the traditional CCTV footage, measuring laser and sonar we can now provide a view and report on condition asset.

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From wastewater to community benefits and opportunities Paul Beard – Water Corporation

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The Water Corporation of Western Australia (Water Corporation) has established partnerships with community groups and not-for-profit organisations to successfully deliver a number of communitybased projects that have resulted in economic and social benefits for people in the remote West Kimberley region of WA. These projects include; delivering a community grants scheme solely funded through the wastewater disposal process, providing Aboriginal trainees with practical agricultural experience and partnering with an Aboriginal organisation to establish a seed bank of native plants using recycled water. Viewed together, these projects redefine the value of recycled water and introduce a viable model for other water utilities to partner with local groups to benefit the community, particularly in regional areas.

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Waternamics at Western Water Glenn Harris – Western Water

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Waternamics was implemented at WesternWater in 2017 as part of the IWN Flagship Project which aims to evaluate different technologies supporting the digitalisation of Water utilities. Waternamics is the Veolia-IBM solution that integrates real-time data from various source systems into the same platform. At Western Water, live data from 7 different systems are gathered on a map-based view. Users can therefore access SCADA readings, customer details, live work order information, water quality data and all water and sewer asset information from the same map. Business efficiencies were also achieved with the new dispatching role within the Operation Centre with the integration of GPS tracking of staff and vehicles into Waternamics. The platform is a great tool for the management of water quality events, as root-cause analysis is facilitated by having all information gathered at the same place. We are also able to create alerts within Waternamics to notify operations staff of bad weather, fire danger, we can also monitor the duress alarms sent through from our field operators which contributes to an increase in staff safety. During the first year of the trial two additional data sources were integrated into Waternamics: KAPTA Probes & GPS tracking system.

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Tertiary treatment DAFF upgrade. Increasing throughput and improving performance Scott Whitehead – Goulburn Valley Water

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Despite having a design maximum throughput of 3 ML/d of wastewater effluent, the Alexandra Wastewater Management Facility’s (WMF) Dissolved Air Floatation and Filtration (DAFF) plant has not been able to achieve this in over 10 years. Following a review of the plant and its treatment process from an external consultant, it was found that the plant’s Dissolved Air Floatation (DAF) system was inadequate to meet the required flowrate with its current loading. To achieve the DAF required, the Goulburn Valley Water (GVW) operations team completed a full-scale upgrade of the plant’s DAF system. The project included replacement of old and failing pipework, pumps, saturator vessel, and dispersion valves. Project outcomes included the plant reaching its target flowrate, improved effluent water quality and improved plant reliability and operability, as well as plant waste product reduction.

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Aerator/diffusers upgrade at Tamworth STP Bill Constable – Tamworth Regional Council

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The aeration system at the Westdale Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) was nearing its life expectancy and performance was beginning to wane.With everyminor failure in equipment another bank of diffusers was needed to be turned off which reduced the plants aeration capacity. The grommet attachment style diffuser was deemed to be inadequate. An Expression of Interest and a Tender was called for to replace the diffusers. It was decided that our operations team would install the new diffusers. There were a few challenges encountered during the installation process, however we overcame them all and now have a completely new set of aeration diffusers operating successfully.

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Co-existing with Telecommunication Carriers Jillian Busch – Aqualift Project Delivery

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There are documented horror stories when the balance between the burden of Telco infrastructure on water assets and the LWU’s need to manage its water supply integrity favour the Telcos. Whatever the case may be, there is now a stronger need for LWUs to understand and exercise their legislative rights to meet water supply and governance requirements, reduce their business costs imposed by Telcos facilities, and to highlight any legislative deficiencies so things can be fixed. This need is further compounded by TPG Telecom’s announcement (April 2017) to become Australia’s fourth Carrier operator, and the Australian Government releasing its strategy (October 17), to support the timely rollout of 5G in Australia including “…streamlining arrangements to allow mobile carriers to deploy infrastructure more quickly…”1.

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Taupo land disposal 25 years on Kevin Sears – Taupo District Council

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Taupo District Council (TDC) is a small council in New Zealand that has several communities of differing size scattered around the shores of Lake Taupo. The communities’ demographics are primarily Maori & Pakeha. The district has a strong Maori heritage and culture, and these strongly influence the decisions of Taupo District Council. One of these cultural factors is the thinking that “All human waste should go to land”. Water or “Wai” is life generating and has spiritual significance for Maori. Therefore, interaction between Wai and human waste in particular is contrary to this fundamental principal. This has influenced Council’s decisions to dispose of wastewater effluent via land disposal. All of TDCs eleven Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) discharge to land with only one exception. This presentation concentrates on the land disposal of the Taupo townships treated effluent and this journey over 25 years.

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Research outcomes. Investigating the benefit of utilising fish in sewage treatment Ben Pohlner – Wannon Water

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In 2016, Ben Pohlner presented a paper to WIOA Bendigo Conference entitled “Investigating the benefit of utilising fish in sewage treatment” which won the Hepburn prize for best paper overall (http://www.wioa.org.au/conference_papers/2016_vic/documents/Ben_Pohlner.pdf). The aquaculture research program to reduce sludge volumes in sewage lagoons concluded in November 2017. This new paper provides an update on the aquaculture research trials from 2015-2017. Many challenges were confronted and overcome during the course of this project. This new paper details the final results and the learnings for the water industry.

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Where are those drawings? The importance of drawings for operations, maintenance and asset management Brooke Samblebe – Gippsland Water

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During design and construction drawings are relied upon, being constantly reviewed and updated. Once a project is delivered and operational, “As-Constructed” drawings must be appropriately stored and accessible for the life of the asset with information transferrable to other systems within the water authority. Drawings management ensures drawings are not neglected, and remain current, consistent and accessible. Having sound systems in place helps to locate, maintain, update and supersede drawings, which is beneficial to the organisation and all users. Specific drawing types such as process instrumentation diagrams (PID’s) identify assets, enabling operators to generate work orders for preventative and corrective maintenance. Other drawings show asset details and locations which is paramount during emergency situations, when time is a critical factor. Many stakeholders use drawings and establishing a universal drawings management system to accommodate everyone’s needs is part of the challenge. However, with open discussion, training and procedures, the importance of drawings management becomes part of the day to day operations.

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Operator driven SCADA reporting Andrew Pinner – GWM Water

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Reporting software can extend the capabilities of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, providing greater insight into the operations and maintenance requirements of Sewage Pump Stations (SPS). The successful implementation of the SPS Performance Report using History Export Tool (XLDirect), by GWMWater in August 2017 has already identified problems with 47 SPS leading to 80 improvements and problem fixes. This paper highlights a range of critical elements that supported the successful development and implementation of the SPS Performance Report.

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Farming at North East Water, the journey and the future Simon Palframan – North East Water

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North East Water has been developing its farming operations over 10 years. The mission was to utilise our farming assets (land) to align financial and environmental sustainability and operational efficiency. How this is done is by returning reuse water to land, to avoid more expensive post lagoon treatment for discharge to waterways. The opportunity to avoid this operational expense while generating revenue though the production and sale of lucerne and livestock which in turn offsets increases to customer’s water bills. With strategic planning and investment, reviews from agricultural consultants, NEW have grown its farming operation into a viable and valued business. Having sight of what the future may look like for our farming practices, NEW will consider our opportunities to keep returning reuse water to land aligning with NEW’s strategic vision of ‘zero harm to the environment’ and our ambition of regional growth and prosperity.

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Managed aquifer recharge in a fractured rock aquifer. A case study on a mining operations water management strategy Kerstin Brauns – Mandalay Resources

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Mine dewatering is an essential part of safe underground mining practice at Mandalay Resources. Due to mine expansion, further water management strategies were investigated to supplement the current methods of groundwater storage and disposal. Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) was examined as a possible solution with input from consultants and community preferences. A 90-day trial was completed and indicated the basement aquifer could sustain a MAR scheme with low risk to the environment and beneficial use to the aquifer. An application has been submitted for approval of a longer-term MAR scheme.

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Operational tools to determine treatment strategies for mitigation of cyanobacteria risks Deepika Jaduram – WaterRA

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The aim of this project was to provide Australian water utilities with a suite of user-friendly and straightforward resources to support the assessment and management of the aesthetic and toxicity risks associated with cyanobacteria. Based on the many years of research within SA Water, the project team predicted full scale treatment process effectiveness for the removal of cyanobacteria and their metabolites could be modelled using laboratory scale experimental data. The project team reviewed the current literature available on treatment, and with this information developed procedures for 1) treatment plant audit for cyanobacteria (risk and removal) and 2) investigative sampling (verification of treatment barriers). Full scale investigative sampling was conducted when cyanobacteria issues arose to identify unit process effectiveness of intra- and extra-cellular metabolite removal. These were compared to the predicated concentrations within the model. In the case of Myponga, the sampling provided unexpected results which would not have been found with standard sampling methods.

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Fluoridation – the tooth is out there Catherine Feeney – Victorian DHHS

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Community water fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in drinking water to a level that helps protect teeth against decay. Poor oral health is the single highest cause of preventable admissions to hospital for children under 10 years of age. Water fluoridation reduces dental decay rates by 26 to 44 per cent in children and adolescents and by about 27% in adults (1). In Australia, the first community water fluoridation program began in 1953 in Beaconsfield Tasmania. As of February 2017, 89 per cent of Australians have access to water fluoridation (2). Water fluoridation was introduced in Melbourne in 1977. Currently 90 per cent of Victorians receive fluoridated drinking water. The scientific evidence consistently shows that water fluoridation at the levels used in Australia, is a safe, effective and ethical way to help reduce tooth decay. The National Child Oral Health Study 2012-2014 is the most recent Australian survey which examined the association between life time exposure to water fluoridation and childhood dental decay. The findings from the study confirm the effectiveness of water fluoridation in reducing dental decay (3).

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Victorian water treatment operators competency framework. Why operators matter Andrew Lanchbery – Victorian DHHS

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Water treatment operators’ actions and decisions impact the drinking water quality sent to customers. People turn their taps on expecting their drinking water is always safe. The assumption is that it is safe all the time. Safe drinking water and effective sanitation are cornerstones of public health and reflect our expected standard of living in Australia. Customers often judge the safety of their drinking water by how it looks and tastes. If water changes or becomes unpalatable due to taste and odour, people lose trust in drinking water supplies. Some people may start looking for alternative water supplies, such as bottled water, or less safe options like untreated rainwater or bore water. The importance of skilled and competent operators is vital to the production of safe and palatable drinking water. They are the front line of defence against water quality issues and with appropriate treatment systems, training, mentoring and processes in place, are able to identify issues early, resolving them before they become a public health risk.

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