05.05.2015

Beca showcases earthquake, irrigation and microbial expertise at international water conference

Beca technical experts will share their experience at the upcoming Ozwater'15 conference (12-14 May in Adelaide) - Australia's highly regarded annual international water conference run by the Australian Water Association. They will discuss important topics currently facing the water industry and a summary of each paper is outlined below. Beca is also facilitating one of the workshops being held as part of the main program.

Greg Offer, Project Director - Water, and Mark Christison, Business Director - Operations and Maintenance Markets, will co-present on 'Earthquake repairs at the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant - lessons for resilience'.

The Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant was seriously damaged during the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence, and this paper describes the earthquake sequence and the damage it caused. It also outlines the strategy for managing short-term risks to the community during the immediate post-earthquake period, and the repair strategies for plant assets that were implemented over time. Finally, it discusses themes for resilience for large infrastructure assets that emerged during the work.

Details: Wednesday, 13 May - Room 1, Wastewater Treatment.

David Carshalton, Civil Pipeline Engineer - Water and Environment, will present a case study three irrigation schemes in New Zealand to demonstrate how each is evolving to meet changes in farming practice and regulation; this is based on Beca's work with several existing irrigation schemes over the past seven years.

Over the last 15 years in New Zealand, a large portion of irrigators have installed spray irrigation systems to replace existing border dyke (flood) systems that have been in operation since the 1940s. At the same time, regulation of water use has evolved to require a higher standard of monitoring and control to meet higher water efficiency and quality standards. Based on these changes, irrigation schemes in New Zealand are considering how to change their infrastructure to effectively manage both developments.

Details: Wednesday, 13 May - Room 6, Irrigation Solutions for Agriculture and Viticulture.

Graeme Jenner, Senior Associate - Environmental Engineering, is speaking about 'Using the results of quantitative microbial risk assessment to gain community acceptance for wastewater outfalls - a case study at Picton, New Zealand'.

Public infrastructure such as marine wastewater outfalls are important, but often contentious projects, that can be difficult to permit, particularly when there is community perception that such activities will result in significant public health risk. The development of tools such as the Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) has allowed local communities to be better informed about the actual risks of outfalls. The proposal by the Marlborough District Council to relocate an outfall to well inside Picton Harbour is a great example where the provision of good technical information was able to help change such a public perception. The QMRA results also allowed Council to proceed with the lowest cost discharge option.

Details: Tuesday, 12 May - Room 4, Community Engagement.

Paul Collier, Principal - Business Advisory, is chairing a workshop titled 'The road to sophisticated operating environment through people, processes and systems'.

The workshop will look at the lifecycle of the business operating model and will use a typical water industry scenario to demonstrate that the use of business improvement tools can assist decision-making in terms of business performance in the areas of people, processes, systems and tools. Workshop presenters include two other Beca representatives, Eva Wintersberger, Associate – Business Advisory, and Martin Coates, Principal - Beca Applied Technologies.

Details: Wednesday, 13 May - Room 7.

See also