Water Journal July - August 1999

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Volume 26 No 4 July/August 1999 Journal Austra lian Water & Wastewater AssociationEditorial Board FR Bishop, Chairman B N Anderson, D Deere, P Draayers, W J…
Volume 26 No 4 July/August 1999 Journal Austra lian Water & Wastewater AssociationEditorial Board FR Bishop, Chairman B N Anderson, D Deere, P Draayers, W J Dulfer, G Finlayso n, G A H older , P J ohnsto ne, P Nadebaum, J D Parker, M Pascoe, A J Priestley, ] Ri ssman, F Roddick, EA SwintonJ[ii Warer is a refereed journal. This symbolCONTENTSindica tes that a paper has been refereed.General Editor Margaret Metz PO Box 3191, Tamarama NSW 2026 Tel (02) 9365 5178 Email: mmetz@ihug.com .auFrom the Federal President .... .. ........................ ...... ...... ... .. ...... .... ..... .. ... .. ..... . 2 From the Executive Director .. ............ ......... ... ..... .. ...... ........ .. .. ...... .. .......... ... .. 4 MYFeatures Editor EA (Bob) Swinton 4 Pleasant View Cres, Wheelers Hill VIC 3150 Tel/Fax (03) 9560 4752 Email: swintonb@c03 1.aone. net.auPOINTOFVIEWWater-The Need For Transparency ........... .... .......... .......... ....... .. ................... 3P M cLellan, Q C AWWA18TH FEDERAL CONVENTIONBranch Correspondents ACT - Ian Bergman Tel (02) 6230 1039 Fax (02) 6230 6265New South Wales - Leonie Huxedurp Tel (02) 9895 5927 Fax (02) 9895 5967Northern Territory- Mike LawtonAdelaide Turns It On: AWWA 18th Federal Convention A Stunning Success .... 9C Allen The Keynote Speakers ...................... .................. ....... ................ .. ... ... ...... ... .. 11EA (Bob) SwintonTel (08) 8924 6411 Fax (08) 8924 6410Michael Flynn and other Awards ....... ..... ........................ .. .... ... .. ........ ... ... ...... 15Queensland - Tom BelgroveEA (Bob) SwintonTel (07) 3810 7967 Fax (07) 3810 7964 South Australia - Angela Colliver Tel (08) 8227 11 11 Fax (08) 8227 1100Next Stop, Sweden! ................ ... .. ... .. ............ .... .. ...... .... ... ..... ....... ... ....... .. ....... 19A M akrisTasmania - Ed KleywegtMichael Flynn Award For Best Paper: A Very Pleasant Surprise! .... ......... .... 21Tel (03) 6238 2841 Fax (036) 234 7109MMetzVictoria - Mike Muntisov Tel (03) 9278 2200 Fax (03) 9600 1300Western Australia- Jane OliverA Taste Of Australian Nature: Pre-convention Tour to Kangaroo Island .. .... 23T FlapperTel (08) 9380 7454 Fax (08) 9388 1908Ozwater & Ozwaste: Perhaps It Was The Wine ..................... .. .... ...... .. ... ...... .25Advertising & AdministrationMMetzAWWA Federal Office PO Box 388, Artannon NSW 1570 Level 2, 44 Hampden Road, Artannon Tel (02) 9413 1288 Fax (02) 9413 1047 Email: info@awwa.asn. au Advertising: Angela Makris Graphic Design: Elizabeth SooWater (ISSN 0310 โ€ข 0367) is published six times per year: January, March, May , July, September, November byWATER A Dirty Water Story ............... .. .. ....... ... ... ........ ......... .................... .. .. ... .......... . 28B W Gould New Leglslatlon: Should Water Really Be Treated As Food? ....... ....... ..... 29D D eere [!] Blofllms in Drinking Water: Influence of Organic Carbon and Disinfection ..... ............ .. .... ..... ................. ... .......... .................... .. ... ................ 30Australian Water & Wastewater Association IncML Angles, J Chandy, G Kastl, V J egatheesan, P Cox, I FisherARBN 054 253 066[Ii Wastewater Reuse: The Feaslblllty of Reusing Wastewater to Irrigate Parks, Gardens and Golf Courses In Perth ............. .. ................. ....... ......... 35 E (Eddy) J W ajon, S Kenway, A M ausWASTEWATERFederal President Greg CawstonExecutive DirectorBUSINESSChris Davis Australian Water & Wastewater Association (AWW A) assumes no responsibility for opinions or statements of facts expressed by contributors or advertisers. Editorials do not necessa rily represe nt offi cia] AWW A policy. Advertisements are included as an infonnation service to readers and are reviewed before publication to ensure relevance to the water environment and obj ectives of AWWA. All material in Water is copyright and should not be reproduced wholly or in part without the written permission of the General Editor.Subscriptions W ater is sent to all AWWA members. It is also available via subscription for $50 a year.Visit the Al!ยงtralian Water &Wastew~ AssoclationHOME PAGEand access our calendar, bookshop, membership fonns and~ pages of Information at~ Valuing Options In Water Supply Strategies ....... ... .. ...... .. .. ... ......... ........ 39P Gerrans ENVIRONMENT Phytoplankton Monitoring Manual for Australian Rivers ......................... 44G Hotze!, R Croome DEPARTMENTS Aquaphemera .. .... ...... ....... ... .. ..................... ............. ... ..... ....... ... ........ .. ......... ... 4 International Afflllates ... ......... .......... ........... ...... ... .......... ... .. ............... .. ..... 5, 7 Meetings .. ..... ... ..... ...... ........ .. ... ... ..... .. .. .... ... ... .... .... ...... .... ................. ...... .... ... 48 OUR COVER: Turning water into wine is a miraculous feat being accomplished on th e North ern Adelaide Plains. Delega tes at the A WWA Federal Convention held in Adelaide sampled some of the fare as part of a technical tour to look at Australia 's largest BOOT reclaimed water distribution system. Photo courtesy of Clive Palmer, Photographer, Jamestown, SAWATERlDIRTY WATERSTORYB W Gould The Czyptosporidium and Giardia contamination of Sydney's water supply last year prompted me to reminisce abo ut my early experience with pollution in a town supply. Soon after starting as engineer to the Horsham Waterworks Trust 42 years ago , I noti ced that the only water supply quality checks were the quarterly ones done by the Victorian Government Department of Health. Being a newly appointed officer, I did not want to rock the boat, but felt that for a town of 9,000 population with neither trea tment nor disinfection, more frequent testing wo uld be desirable. The hospital pathologist agreed to test hospital tap water for coliforms on a weekly basis, as a community service. Tests for such things as Giardia, however, had never crossed anyone's mind. Looking back with the benefi t of 20/20 hindsight , it had been noticed that visitors, una ccustomed to the local water supply, often had gastric upsets , and that locals were possibly immune through frequent contact. The wa ter came from a large water supply/irrigation storage dam , then travelled 10 km thro ugh bu shland and a tourist picnic area, then 30 km of unfenced open channel through bu sh and grazing areas to a small dam co nnected to the town with a 20 km pip elin e. At that time, the dams , channel and trunk main were under government control. Storm runoff from grazing areas was not bypassed. Sheep and cattle, kangaroos and emu s drank from the channel, leaving calling cards on the bank. Occasionally a sheep fell in and drowned. For so me time after starting the coli form tests all went well , with coliform counts below the magic 10 per 100 mL that was considered sa tisfactory from an untrea ted supply. Then one day came the shock report -coliforms 'too numberous (sic] to count. ' What to do ? See the Council' s M edical Officer. H e agreed that it was necessary to put out a ' boil water' warning until things cleared up. Repeat the tests to rule out laboratory contamination . But the numb ers persisted. Investigate to find the cause , and rectify matters if possible. 28WATER JULY/ AUGUST 1999In an attempt to localise the tro uble, microbiological samples were taken from the channel at all readily accessible spots, such as road crossings . The results indicated some sections in w hich there was a marked increase in pollution during transit. These sec tions were tagged for closer examination. To avoid unnecessary footslogging, a public-spirited Tiger M o th owner loaned his plane and his services as pilot to fly a brave draftsman in a low pass along the su sp ec t sec tions of the channel. Areas needing closer inspection were identified, and a foot inspection found some dead sheep in the channel, and drag marks w here hide and w ool had parted from decomposed sheep bodies as they were pulled out. In other places there were emu and sheep droppings in the backwaters of tributaries. After a clean-up , a few days pa ssed before coliform numb ers dropped to 'normal' and all seem ed to be well . But the real explanation did not surface until some time later. A damaged culvert on the channel had to be repaired so it would be able to carry the peak summ er flows. The channel flow was cut off fo r a few days, while the pipe to the town was fed from the small dam. There was an unseasonal spell of ho t wea ther, triggering increased garden wa tering, and emptying the dam fas ter than anticipated. The repair was hastened, and then as mu ch water as po ssible was sent through the channel to restore the dam level. The result of thi s was that the channel flo wed fuller than it had for a long time, collec ting things which had ga thered along its banks. When the wa ter from the channel reached the dam , instead of merging quietly into a full dam , it raced down the dam floor , sco uring out the accumulation of years , and carrying the polluted wa ter toward the pipe inlet, with tastes, odours, and the record number of coliforms. As the years went by there were more incidents with high coliform counts. It appeared n ecessary to at least disinfect the water. Equipp ed with photo s of problem s and records of coliform counts, a deputation from the Watenvorks Trust visited the StateRivers and Water Supply Commissio n to seek approval for funding to chlorinate. Approval was not forthcoming because the coliforms were not considered a problem, as the water did not come from a heavily populated area, and would be mostly of animal or soil origin and therefore not pose a threa t to human health! After some years, chlorination was installed, but with the wide range of seasonal and diurnal flo ws, dosing accuracy was poor. The equipment suppliers were of little help , saying that I was 'too fussy' and that we would want portholes in our coffins. During this time , there was also a problem with intermittent turbidity . There was a cyclical demand for water trea tment w hich went like this: A group of ratepayers in the pub impress a W ater\lvorks Trust commissioner with the need for eliminating the muddiness of the water. At the next Waterworks Tru st ~ meeting, the commissioner convinces the Tru st of the need for trea tment. A The Trust asks the Engineer to 1!.11 prepare a report on technical feasibility and cost, and the Secretary to prepare a report on financing. . . The reports are presented, and an Iii excited newspaper reporter w ntes an article extolling the Trust's decision, and includes a resum e of the reports, and the effect on rates. Another group of ratepayers nags a l!I commissioner in the pub pointing out that wa ter treatment would be an exorbitant waste of ratepayers' money. ('W e've put up with this water fo r years-why all the fus s now?') f!I The Trust ' receives' the Engineer's l!I and Secretary's reports, but decides to take no action at this stage. Staff are thankful that they did not was te time going into too much detail. Reports are filed for future reference . Go back to step 1.D r.,RfJAuthor Bern Gould is an AWWA m ember and a retired Associate Professo r of Publi c H ealth Enginee ring at the University of N ew South W ales .WATERNEW LEGISLATION Should Water Really Be Treated As Food? D Deere A new draft bill that co uld have major implications for wa ter suppliers is currently being considered by Australian and N ew Zealand food . authorities . It is a national bill that will dramatically affect water quality regulations in both Australia and New Zealand. Currently the safety of tap wa ter is regulated separately from other foodstuffs like soft drinks and bottled water. Major changes have bee n propo sed to food safety regulation under th e Exposure Draft Food Bill 1999. Submissions will be considered and the final Food Act presented by the Au stralian New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) for approval by the Au stralian New Zealand Food Standards Council (ANZFSC). The bill will then be presented to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) for signature inJuly 1999 . This bill will require the enactment of uniform Food Acts for all states and territories of Au stralia and N ew Zealand. As part of thi s dri ve for uniformity, the scope of Food Acts would be extended to cover suppliers of potable tap water and water companies would be classified as food bu siness under the Act. Furthermore, the legislation would 'bind the Crown,' or apply to state and federal departments and businesses . M any of the details of the regulations have ye t to be determined. For example, the priority cla ssification for tap water bu sinesses affe cts the deadline for compliance which could be from two years (high priority) to six years (low priority) from the date of gaze ttal. It may be just three years until water companies are required to mee t the propo sed legislation, so water businesses will need to keep abreast of the bill's progress through the legislative process. In co nsultation with water law experts , a submissio n has been put to ANZFA giving comments on a number of aspects of the bill and how they may affect water companies . The submission rai ses a number of points and the main ones are noted here for Water readers w hose bu siness may be affected. • Potable water supply compani esrepresent a special case because of their This is not the case with foods tuffs that role as heavily regulated monopoly are intended only for con sumption. utilities . Specifically, they must operate Special provisions are needed to address in an enviro nment of co mmercial this scenario. prudence and manage the conflicting • Water supply companies may have obliga tions of least communi ty cost and limited control over th e extremes of the least bu siness risk. They are unable to sou e to tap pathway. The appropriate simply raise prices as they see fit to authorities must be made liable fo r match requirem ents, legal or otherwise. contamination resulting from plumbing Companies producing food pro- or ca tchment activities outside the ducts will have to use po table wa ter fo r control of water companies. The closing date for submissions was all activities that use wa ter unless they can demonstrate th at another wa ter 31 M ay 1999 but copies of the Draft quality will not affect produ ct safety. Food Bill are still available from Food businesses and authorised officers ANZFA by calling (02) 6271 2241 may u se the National H ealth and (Australia) or (04) 473 9942 (New M edical R esearch Council/Agriculture Zealand). For details of quality manageand R esource M anagement Council of m en t sys tems and HACCP contac t Australia and N ew Zealand (NHMRC/ Qu ality Assurance Services in eac h ARMCANZ) 1996 Australian Drink- Capital C ity (M elbourne H ead Office, ing W ater Guidelines (as amended) for tel. (03) 9693 3535) or SGS or NATA. guidance as to w hat constitu tes potable wate r. Water co mpanies '··· the scope of Food Acts supplying water to lesser guidelines may fa ce press ure to move to would be extended to cover the Australian Drinking Water suppliers of potable tap water' Guidelines. Where they are unable to do so, this could have water treatm ent cost implica tions for the receiving A HAC CP-based QA system would food bu sinesses. ordinarily involve impl eme nting Companies produ cing food pro- HACCP in the context of an ISO 9000 ducts must introduce a qu ality assu rance quali ty management system . The risk (QA) system (or extend their existing management components of HACCP QA system) to include a food produ ct are ordinarily implemented through the safety plan based on the H azard Analysis Ri sk M anage ment Standard. The and C riti cal Control Point (HACCP) followi ng are available from Standards principles . This is consistent with the Australia (tel. 1300 65 46 46) to guide approach being proposed and tenta- the process: tively adopted by the water industry. • AS/ NZS ISO 9001: 1994 and Some compani es are already going AS/NZS ISO 9002 : 1994 (note: ISO through the process of extending QA 9000:2000 is due out next year) system s to include HACCP implemen• AS/ NZS 3905.13 :1 998 Qu ality tation. ANZFA needs to be aware that System Guidelines . Guide to AS/NZS to date no wa ter company has attained ISO 900 1: 1994 for th e food processing full National Sanitation Foundation indu stry (NSF) HACCP Certification and that • SAA/SNZ HB 78 :1998 Correlation the timelines and community cost between AS/NZS ISO 9002: 1994 and impli cations required for doing so have the HACCP Principles • AS/NZS 4360:1999 Risk Manageyet to be established. • R eti culated tap water represents a ment Standard . special case in that it is required for very many processes, not just as a foodstuff. Author Dr Danlel Deere is Manager, W ater ANZFA needs to be awa re th at it may be in the public interest that water Quality with South East Water, PO companies continue to supply tap water Box 1382, Moorabbin , Vic 3189, email even in the event of contamination. daniel.deere@sewl.com.au. WATER JULY/ AUGUST 199929mWATER ·BIOFILMS IN DRINKING WATER Influence of organic carbon and disinfection M L Angles, J Chandy, G Kastl, V Jegatheesan, P Cox, I Fisher Abstract Biofilm formation arises from the inevitable coloni sation of surfaces by microorgani sms w henever a solid surface is in contact with an aqueous phase. Biofilms influence the quality of drinking wa ter by affecting the efficiency of disinfection processes and assisting in the pro tection and regrowth of microorganisms in reticulation syste m s. Traditionally, bacterial regrowth in distribution systems has been inhibited by the use of disinfectants (m ainly chlorine and chloramine). Alternative treatm ent methods are required , however, to control bacterial regrowth and biofilm formation when the u se of disinfectant is reduced. This reduction aims to minimise the development of potentially hazardous disinfection by-products and the capital and maintenance cos ts associated w ith di sinfection. One m ethod is to use biological treatment of drinking water to reduce nutrient levels. Of the three main nutrients , carbon , nitrogen and phosphorus, carbon is considered to be limiting in drinking water as it is essential for bacterial growth . Little is known abo ut nutrient levels in Australian ddnking water, or w hat effects they have on biofilm development. This paper reports an initial laboratory study of the effects of o rganic matter on biofilm growth in Sydney drinking water. Direct cell counts were used to assess biofilm development on a number of plastic slides. The measurement of aqueou s phase total organic ca rbon (TOC) was inadequate to describe the utilisatio n of organic for biofilm formation. carbon Biological regrowth potential (BRP) was a more sensitive assay and provided information on the levels of organic ca rbon as well as the grow th rates of bac teria present in the water. N evertheless, more sensitive m ethods, such as assimilable organic carbon and biodegradable dissolved organic carbon , 30WATER JULY/ AUGUST 1999are required to determine the low levels of carbon w hich contribut to biofilm growth. The effects of chloramine on biofilm development and the contribution of biofilms to chlorine decay were also assessed . T he development of biofilms in treated Sydney tapwater occurred quite rapidly (within 45 days) in the presence of chloramine, but was greatest w hen chloramine concentrations fell below 0.1 mg L-1 . Complete removal of chloramine stress facilitated the establishment of biofilms within three days . Further, it was shown that biofilms contributed to chloramine decay in reac tors fed with chloraminated Sydney drinking water.Key Words
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