eFlash #495

eFlash #495

eFlash #495
Date: 28-Jul-2021

In this edition: Potential Change to Workplace Exposure Standards for Hydrogen Sulphide| Charters Towers Regional Conference – Wrap Up| Aqua Card NSW Goes Live| Next Essentials Webinar – Register Now| qldwater Annual Forum 2021 – Register Now

1. Potential Change to Workplace Exposure Standards for Hydrogen Sulphide

Recently qldwater was made aware through an industry consultant that Safe Work Australia was intending to revise the Workplace Exposure Standards for Airborne Contaminants, which will include a new exposure limits for hydrogen sulphide (WES Release 10). These will be significantly below that under current regulation which has 8hr TWA / STEL concentrations of 10ppm / 15ppm, respectively. 

It is our understanding that the review was initiated in 2019, and that a draft consultation period closed in February 2021. 

The draft new standards, if adopted, would have significant implications for management and operations of wastewater treatment plants and other major sewage network facilities.

These implications include (but are not limited to):

  • likely significant cost impacts to be borne by local government operated sewerage services to achieve compliance – sewage treatment plants, major networks, reticulated gravity networks – normal operations, capital works, monitoring and investigation, 
  • health and safety considerations including the use of respirators in high temperature work environments,
  • the potential for exclusion zones to be required in the vicinity of existing infrastructure, 
  • compliance impacts to under-construction infrastructure,
  • timeframe for project delivery of remedial infrastructure works to achieve compliance. 

We have this week written to Safe Work Australia to seek broader industry consultation on the changes before any implementation. The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) was also unaware of the review and will be attempting to engage with SWA.

2. Charters Towers Regional Conference – Wrap Up

Thanks again to sponsors, presenters and attendees for our Charters Towers event held last week. 

Peter Clark and the Charters team were excellent hosts, but a particular shout out to Mark Harvey for an excellent tour, couple of talks and for accepting the challenge of finding some good examples of infrastructure challenges to present.

There were plenty of presentation highlights with the water quality theme but Mel Keating’s talk on introducing chlorination in Flinders scored highest in the feedback. Many can relate to the story of a service provider working hard to improve public health, often in the face of significant community push-back via social media. Videos will be available soon.

As lockdowns continue in parts of the country we continue to adapt with the way we delivery events. The “live online” audience is starting to decline but the downloads of presentations post-events grows, so at this stage we are likely to keep recording technical and other interesting presentations but focus on a positive face-to-face experience. Hopefully our interstate guest presenters lined up for the Annual Forum in September will be allowed out to join us, but so far all have still agreed to participate if that doesn’t prove to be possible.

Several of our staff are travelling to Mackay for the AWA NQ conference this week and we look forward to catching up with anyone lucky enough to be there.

3. Aqua Card NSW Goes Live

Since the release of the Aqua Card in 2019, 920 people have completed the course and there has been growing interest from NSW councils in completing the course, and last week the wish became a reality. 

qldwater established an MOU with the NSW Water Directorate to develop the NSW version of both the Aqua Card and Brown Card courses. The updates were made by Murray Thompson, a highly regarded Engineer with significant experience in the water and wastewater industry. The Aqua Card NSW is hosted by qldwater on the watertraining.com.au  website with a fee sharing model in place to help cover ongoing hosting and maintenance fees. This reflects increasing collaboration with the NSW Water Directorate in relation to skilling initiatives with several other potential joint initiatives being considered.

The Aqua Card course provides an overview on what contaminants are, what risks they pose to the public, how they can enter a drinking water system and the responsibilities of workers to manage work in and around systems to reduce the risk of contamination. We hope the course will be as well received in NSW as it has been here in Queensland.

4. Next Essentials Webinar Register Now

qldwater's next Essential Webinar will be taking place on Thursday 19th August at 10am. You can register here

The session will focus on ‘Drinking Water Quality’, bringing together two speakers that are passionate on this topic.

Our two presenters are: 

Terry Fagg (Western Downs Regional Council)

Enhanced Coagulation in practice - A useful tool in the management of disinfection by products.

Terry, as an experienced and well-respected water treatment manager will provide a background to how enhanced coagulation can be used to help manage raw water high in organics, and lead to better DBP outcomes.

Mark Harvey (Charters Towers Regional Council)

DWQMP: After 10 years, have we taken them off the shelf yet?

Mark will reprise his presentation from the Charters Towers regional conference for a wider audience, talking about the challenges and improvements that the industry has faced since the introduction of the DQWMPs in Queensland.

Registrations will be required to participate in this webinar. Click here to register and lock it in to your calendar.

5. qldwaterAnnual Forum 2021 – Register Now

Only five weeks leftto register for our upcoming qldwater Annual Forum which is being held on the 8th & 9th of September with an additional ‘Automated Metering’ themed workshop being held on the 7th of September.

This year’s forum is being graciously hosted by the Redland City Council with most events based at Alexandra Hills Hotel and at North Stradbroke Island for our day tour.

A copy of the draft programs for the three days is available on our event website.

7 September – ‘Automated Metering Workshop’It will be a great opportunity to share experiences in automated metering and our increasingly digital operating environment, as well as the chance to connect with industry experts and vendors.

8 September – Day on North Stradbroke Island visiting the Seqwater Dunwich Water Treatment Plant & Redland City Council Point Lookout Sewerage Treatment Plant and other fun activities including the Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test! 

Followed by the Annual Forum Dinner where you have the opportunity to network with other delegates over a three course meal and have the opportunity to listen to our keynote speaker Adam Lovell from Water Services Association of Australia.

9 September – The Annual Forum day will be focused onIndustry Strategy (building on the highly successful 2019 event) and 'Is Asset Management for Water and Sewerage in Queensland broken?' Speakers from around the state and nationally will provide case studies on how AM is improving.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available across the three days. If you are interested in sponsoring any of the days, please contact Naomi Carragher on 07 3632 6850 or ncarragher@qldwater.com.au.

Thank you to our confirmed sponsors Calibre Group, Royce Water Technologies, Taggle, Veolia, Aquatec Maxcon, Suez.

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