eFlash #522

eFlash #522

eFlash #522
Date: 09-Feb-2022

In this edition: Chemical Supply Update| Release of the 2020/21 Benchmarking Report for Queensland’s Urban Potable Water and Sewerage Industry| Water Skills Forum – 3 March 2022 – REGISTRATIONS CLOSING!| Reminder - DES Updating Model Conditions for STP’s| IPWEAQ CQ Branch Conference

1. Chemical Supply Update

The member feedback we have received on this topic suggests that most risk from the national chemical supply route issues has been limited to southern states. It is possible that there may still be impacts to Qld for Alum and other chemicals. WSAA has recently provided an update which is summarised below.

  • Railway disruptions - repairs have moved faster than expected with the East-West rail line expected to return to full operations (weight and length of trains) by 15 February 2022.
  • While the rail link will be re-established, there will be a significant backlog of freight; containers in the wrong location etc. Therefore we can expect the alternative transport options; freight prioritisation arrangements and national transport disruptions to continue for another 4-8 weeks.
  • In addition the requirements to re-route trucks, combined with the COVID-19 effect that have limited availability of vehicles and drivers and COVID-19 disruptions are combining to put significant stress on the freight network.
  • ATH Production (required for Aluminium Sulphate) issues are being addressed with improved transport arrangements.

The broad recommendation to water utilities nationally is that they continue to monitor chemical supplies closely, with disruptions to Alum supplies for another 4 weeks, and disruptions to freight services for other chemicals to last a further two months.

2. Release of the 2020/21 Benchmarking Report for Queensland’s Urban Potable Water and Sewerage Industry

The 2020/21 Urban Potable Water and Sewerage Benchmarking Report has been released for members to access through the qldwater website.

 This report provides a means for council owned service providers to compare their performance across a range of areas including capacity and viability, customer service, condition of assets, management and performance. Benchmarking is important for the industry as it allows competition by comparison and helps provide transparency for our communities.

 Following its favourable reception last year, the report is once again being published as a package that includes two slide decks suitable for presentation with charts for all water reporting entities separated into (1) medium, larger and extra-large service providers (>1,000 connections), and (2) small and indigenous service providers. The package includes a document providing explanatory notes and additional insights that should be read in conjunction with the charts.

 The slide deck and explanatory report contains a suite of indicators obtained from the publicly available KPI reporting framework to provide benchmarking data for all 72 of Queensland’s council owned urban water/sewerage utilities.

The 2020/21 Urban Potable Water and Sewerage Benchmarking package can be downloaded here.

3. Water Skills Forum – 3 March 2022 – REGISTRATIONS CLOSING!

OK, they aren’t quite yet but if you’re planning on going please register as the combination of COVID impacts, extended school holidays, wet weather events etc have probably all contributed to a very sluggish start.

We are still good to go but need to secure a good attendance to make the event worthwhile for guest speakers and panellists. If we can’t get to minimum numbers, there is a chance the event will have to be rescheduled to June. We have put a big effort into making for an engaging online as well as in-person experience, so find a room, lock the door and get to participate in some fantastic activities designed to help you build ideas on how you can meet your skilling challenges.


4. Reminder – DES Updating Model Conditions for STPs

Late in December DES opened a consultation period on one aspect of the ongoing update to their sets of Model Conditions. “To promote consistency, conditions that are relevant to all Environmentally Relevant Activities have been separated from existing model condition sets, and now form this new Common Model Conditions set.” The proposed Common Conditions Guideline was circulated to the qldwater SWEAP in December and is available through the SWEAP ZOHO forum.
SWEAP has already been engaged during 2021 on the proposed changes for specific Model Conditions for STPs, which also will be opened for broader public consultation early this year. This current consultation process separates out only the ‘common’ conditions and is open until February 25th. qldwater will work with SWEAP to respond, but if you wish to contribute to a joint response on the ‘Common Conditions Guideline’, please send questions or comments to enquiry@qldwater.com.au by 17th February.

5. IPWEAQ CQ Branch Conference

Don't forget to register for the CQ Branch Conference to be held in Gladstone, 16-17 March 2022! Use the code CQ50 by Thursday 17 March to secure a $50 discount on your full conference registration.

This year's comprehensive program includes up to 9.5 CPD hours at just $58 per hour. The program includes 18 presentations including a keynote presentation by Gladstone Regional Council on the Philip Street Communities and Families Precinct.

A full conference registration includes two additional networking opportunities at the Welcome Function and Branch Conference Dinner at Auckland House.

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