Water Update - Nov 2018

Good news on the water-front(hehe, You see what I did there?), we had two successful funding applications back from QWRAP, one for training for the regional contract and procurement documents(FNQROC picking up the remainder of the tab), which has had excellent uptake thus far. The second being for a slightly tricky project that started out as some simple asset management training, but as the group discussed their problems now developed into really, a quite complex, topical project!

The premise centres around circumstances where water charge revenue has no correlation to the cost of service (i.e. depreciation on the respective part of the network providing supply). These sites are generally outside of the water service area, identifying the question, is there a requirement to provide supply, on what terms (i.e. provided on a non-potable basis or non-declared basis), with further discussion occurring about the political consequence this may have.

It was noted that this issue is considered a state-wide issue (particularly for more regional councils), with limited success in solution development. It was noted that further discussion would be had within the QWRAP Co-ordinators group at their next meeting, with LGAQ supporting any work done to develop a solution in this space.


Additionally, Geoff Smart, Cassowary Coast Regional Council presented on the outcomes of their trial ‘Magnesium Hydroxide Injection Systems for the control and management of Hydrogen Sulphide and the consequential issues associated with odour, asset deterioration’.

The Outcomes CCRC experienced from the ACTI-Mag Dosing trials saw extremely significant reductions in H2S loading (120-160ppm to <5ppm within 3-4 days), greatly reducing corrosion and odour. The trial also saw secondary improvement in Fats, Oils and Grease mobilisation/transportation to the STP and reduction in sewer pump Station cleaning requirements (none required in 9 months). There was also a significant reduction in alum and lime dosing requirements at the STP, saving significant costs. Follow up conversations between councils identified that Cairns Regional Council is undertaking a trial with GRENOX/GRENOF, for the reduction of H2S and the control of odour and corrosion. Similarly, Mareeba Shire Council is also undertaking similar work, albeit with bacterial technology, though Water Treatment Services. The group noted the opportunity and benefit of comparing the outcomes of each of these trials on their respective completion.


Finally, the group hit on a particular issue that one council has identified around the premature aging/failure of poly mains.

As a result of a number of early life failures of relatively new poly mains (<15years old) within the CCRC region, CCRC has undertaken some preliminary investigations as to what may be causing the Premature aging/failure of these poly mains. It was identified that most councils water operations within the FNQ region provided latent and operational conditions for increased risk of failure from premature aging. These being high soil temperatures, shallow installation, Chlorine disinfection, medium to high pressure and generally smaller pipe sizes), often exceeding the highest recommended guidelines(I’m happy to send these to all interested, just shoot me an email!). In exceeding these guidelines, councils are exposed to significantly reduced pipe asset lives. It was posed to the group that they consider how this may impact their assets/operations and if it emerges that this is a common concern, how it is moved forward on a regional basis.

Questions raised within this forum included:

  • What asset life do we have for our service lines and smaller PE pipelines?
  • Do we have any redress against manufacturer?
  • What options have we got for service lines in high temp areas?
  • Pressure implications are simplified as PRV’s at meter?
  • Could this drive a change to chloramine disinfection?


Join The Discussion

Add Your Comments

(Required, not publicised)
Please enter the word below: