eFlash #501

eFlash #501

eFlash #501
Date: 01-Sep-2021

In this edition: The Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test – Last Chance!| WSAA Strengthening Australia Cyber Security Submission| Satellite & Wireless Pty Ltd v Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority trading as Seqwater| Changes to H2S Exposure Limits| QWRAP Webinar on Artificial Intelligence for CCTV Analysis| International Conference on Wastewater-based epidemiology in Brisbane| Special Webinar on Progress with COVID Sewage Surveillance – Register Now| Positions Available – Redland City Council

1. The Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test – Last Chance!

Entries for this year’s Best of the Best Queensland Water Taste Test Competition close this Friday at 5pm.

Some of our members take the competition very seriously and even host their own taste test events to select their best sample to enter! 

Each year the competition gets bigger and better. Since its inception in 2011, the competition now crosses borders with WIOA taking the challenge to NSW with the Water of Origin Taste Test. Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania followed with the first National Ixom Australia Best of the Best Tasting Tap Water competition held in 2015.

Last year’s winner Livingstone Shire has confirmed it will again be entering so the challenge is on to knock them off their perch.

To enter the taste test competition, please fill out the entry form here.

2. WSAA Strengthening Australia Cyber Security Submission

The Water Services Association of Australia has prepared a submission, co-signed by each of the Queensland, NSW and Victorian Water Directorates as a response to Federal Government consultation on options for regulatory reforms and voluntary incentives to strengthen the cyber security of Australia’s digital economy.

The consultation sought feedback on possible voluntary and regulatory measures in three areas:

  • Setting clear cyber security expectations through cyber security standards for:
    • corporate governance
    • personal information and
    • smart (internet of things) devices.
  • Increasing transparency through:
    • cyber security labelling for smart devices
    • software vulnerability disclosure policies and
    • health checks for small businesses.
  • Protecting consumer rights through appropriate legal remedies for victims.

The cyber security space is rapidly evolving, and much of the qldwater feedback focussed on the need to evaluate and manage risk from a whole of business perspective given that the majority of our members are councils, roles of the state and linkages to disaster management processes, and to seek to better understand the practicalities of implementing proposed changes for new devices when our members are dealing with a significant amount of ageing/ legacy equipment. Thanks again to WSAA for coordinating a whole of sector response.

3. Satellite & Wireless Pty Ltd v Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority trading as Seqwater

Seqwater has been in the midst of legal action with a telecommunications carrier for some time, challenging the proposed installation of a “low impact facility” on the Alexandra Hills reservoir tower. This particular tower has featured in many case studies around the application of Federal telecommunications legislation as has a very large number of active and legacy installations, posing risks to worker safety and public health.

The applicant (Satellite & Wireless Pty Ltd) claimed that the respondent (Seqwater) had failed to comply with its obligations under an Access Permit. The claim was ultimately dismissed, with costs awarded to Seqwater. The detailed ruling is available here:


The result is significant for the water industry’s ongoing efforts to effectively manage public and worker safety concerns around these facilities.

4. Changes to H2S Exposure Limits

Eflash # 495 refers. Safe Work Australia commenced a process some time ago to review a number of “Workplace Exposure Standards.” qldwater was alerted to this process by Peter Zemek and we in turn alerted WSAA who were not aware of the changes. In short, the major concern is around management of hydrogen sulfide, with a draft standard proposing the reduction of the current 8hr TWA / STEL concentrations of 10ppm / 15ppm to 1ppm / 5ppm.

In summary:

  • The proposed change does reflect international trends towards more strict exposure standards, which is based on WHO published findings;
  • As best we can establish, none have been consulted.

The potential 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.

WSAA wrote to Safe Work Australia with the response received Friday. There are a number of options now to be explored including state advocacy and we are not yet in a position to comment on the approach. At this stage we are just alerting you to a potential problem and the likelihood that we will be seeking more information from you to support advocacy in future. We will work with the WSAA reference group established.

5. QWRAP Webinar on Artificial Intelligence for CCTV analysis

This information webinar is being convened by qldwater for QWRAP regions to better understand the advantages and costs of AI CCTV analysis. The webinar is also free for attendance by any Queensland Water and Sewerage Service Providers and will be held on 9:30 – 12 on Tuesday 21st September. The webinar includes presentations from three providers of AI technology (VAPAR, Abyss Solutions, Pipe AI) along with updates on trials by the Victorian IWN, Waterstart and Unity Water and discussion by Queensland service providers on recent experiences with CCTV programs. For more information or a link to the TEAMS meeting please contact rfearon@qldwater.com.au.

6. International Conference on Wastewater-based epidemiology in Brisbane

The Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences (QAEHS) is hosting the Testing the Waters 5 conference at Customs House Brisbane, 28 September – 1 October 2021. The conference will bring together Australian and international experts in the rapidly developing scientific discipline known as wastewater-based epidemiology. Conference presenters and delegates will encompass a variety of backgrounds including drug use epidemiologists, analytical and environmental chemists, microbiologists, environmental engineers, pharmacologists, toxicologists, experts in forensics and stakeholders working in the areas of public health, addiction, prevention and law enforcement.

The full conference program is here: https://qaehs.centre.uq.edu.au/ttw-program. Attendance is free, however registration is essential at: https://qaehs.centre.uq.edu.au/ttw-conference. There will also be a live stream available as well as video on demand once sessions have been recorded. The recordings will be available for 6 months after the conference date for delegates to watch or download.

7. Special Webinar on Progress with COVID Sewage Surveillance

We have an additional Essentials Webinar programmed for the 28 September 1:30 – 2:30 on Sewage Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2.

We are fortunate to have update presentations on both the successful national Collossos program (Dan Deere) and also on the Queensland-wide monitoring organised through Queensland Health (Jochen Mueller, UQ).

This is a great chance to catch up on how the sewer monitoring in being used to trace COVID outbreaks and how the information (and samples) you are providing are being used.

Registrations for this special webinar is now open. Please register here

8. Positions Available – Redland City Council

Redland City Council (RCC) is situated on the naturally wonderful Redlands Coast, which includes the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, mainland suburbs and rural hinterland which is located east of Brisbane. RCC offers you the chance to improve lives and shape your own career. You’ll enjoy diverse work and opportunities to grow, working in a truly special community and a region of outstanding natural beauty. In return for your passion and commitment to moving Redland City forward, we offer great benefits and the balance you need to bring the best you. Visit our careers website to find out more and meet some of our wonderful team.

The Opportunities

Treatment Engineer Wastewater

The Treatment Engineer Wastewater is responsible for the delivery of well-defined process engineering solutions to enhance the delivery of sewage treatment services provided by Redland City Council.

Wastewater Maintenance Scheduler

As the Wastewater Maintenance Scheduler, you will be responsible for providing a range of technical and operational support services to the Wastewater Operations Unit for the delivery of extensive planned and responsive maintenance activities, ensuring wastewater treatment assets are maintained to a high level of reliability in accordance with corporate objectives.

2 x Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator

The Treatment Plant Operators will be responsible for the effective day to day operation and monitoring of Wastewater Treatment Plants (nutrient removal) and Sewer Pump Stations within the Redlands Coast community including North Stradbroke Island

Other Benefits

 In addition to salary, Council may offer a range of other benefits including:

  • Access to professional and leadership development programs;
  • Mentoring and coaching opportunities to increase your industry knowledge and professional and business acumen;
  • Secondment opportunities for career development;
  • Ability to contribute to the community and make the Redlands Coast a better place to live and do business;
  • Reward and recognition programs;
  • Access to flexible working arrangement provisions and generous leave provisions such as paid parental leave and purchased leave scheme; and
  • Wellness programs, social club and employee assistance program.
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