Water Treatment Alliance
Safe Drinking Water!
Is the water you produce at your Water Treatment Plant safe?
Do you provide it 100% of the time?
Are you sure?
The Water Treatment Alliance aims to reduce the risk of waterborne
disease through the optimisation of Water Treatment Plant operation – and lets face it, the vast majority of WTPs in Australia have some capacity for improvement!
The Alliance is based on the successful American ‘Partnership for Safe Water’ developed after the tragic Milwaukee event in 1993 where over 400,000 people became ill from drinking water contaminated with Cryptosporidium. The Partnership has been able to demonstrate significant improvement in the production of safe drinking water in the US since then.
The Alliance promotes a structured process to monitor longterm
performance of a WTP, to identify anything that may have an adverse impact on the ability of a WTP to produce safe drinking water, and then identify and implement necessary improvements to overcome these limitations.
Improvement can only be assessed if something can be measured. The program monitors filtered water turbidity which is the single best measure to monitor improvement in whole of plant performance.
• Is fully compatible with and enhances other management tools such as ISO, HACCP and the ADWG framework for the Management of Drinking Water. It differs from these management tools in that it is purely operations based.
• Is a practical program for the optimisation and operation of the whole WTP and involves all steps in the treatment process.
• Provides a formal approach to identifying limiting factors and implementing changes.
• Provides a structured way to monitor and assess progress and performance.
• Strongly advocates a team approach rather than an imposed management approach.
• Builds capability within the organisation rather than with consultants or individuals.
• Can contribute to sensible asset management.
• Provides accountability to customers, regulators and government.
The program is flexible, designed to allow water utilities to use it in any way they wish and to progress through it to the level and at the rate that suits them. A level of external scrutiny is provided for in the process.
Three levels of membership have been established to allow some flexibility to cater for the objectives of different water utilities. All levels of membership are supported by the program manager and include a detailed training and induction program that describes how the program should be implemented at your Utility.
Level 1:Self Improvement
Requires the collection and submission of 12 months baseline filtered water turbidity data. The data is analysed and benchmarked against data from Australian and American plants. A Level 1 report is prepared and submitted to you.
Level 2:Self Assessment, Review and Award
Requires submission of a minimum of two subsequent years of data and a detailed self assessment report that reviews the ability of your plant to produce safe drinking water and what steps you plan to introduce at the plant to improve this ability. The additional data and the self assessment report are reviewed by an Australian review team and feedback provided. Successful maintenance or improvement in water quality and progress with the self improvement plan leads to formal recognition with a Level 2 award plaque.
Level 3:Self Assessment, Review, Site Review & Award
Level 3 is essentially the same as Level 2 but includes an actual site review carried out by an Australian review eam, and submission of a report on the outcomes of the review to you. Based on a satisfactory site visit, an award plaque will be presented to the utility. In addition to the formal elements described above, the Water
Treatment Alliance runs workshops and training courses in conjunction with the Water Industry Operators Association of Australia in areas critical to the optimisation and operation of water treatment plants and water supply systems in general.
The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) is responsible for the administration of the Water Treatment Alliance. More information on the Alliance can be found at the Water Services Association of Australia Website: www.wsaa.asn.au/About/WaterTreatmentAlliance or by phoning
Nathan Smith at WSAA on (03) 9606 0678.
For as little as $1000 why not become part of the Alliance today and join a growing number of utilities taking seriously the provision of safe drinking water. The data you collect and the improvements you make will go a
long way to producing safe drinking water 100% of the time and will allow you to demonstrate it.
Source: This article was printed in the November edition of Operator 2009.
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