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18 INFRASTRUCTURE AUSTRALIA APRIL 2013
Whitsunday sewage treatment plants
Whitsunday Region, Queensland
Fixed price design, construct,
operate and maintain
Whitsunday Regional Council
Potentially one of the rst projects to achieve an
Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia s IS
(Infrastructure Sustainability) rating is the upgrade of
two sewage treatment plants in north Queensland. e
Whitsunday Regional Council awarded the contract to
design, construct and operate ( ve years) the Cannonvale
and Proserpine treatment plants to Tenix in February 2012.
e new plants will provide signi cant environmental
bene ts for the local communities by reducing sewage
over ows, improving noise and odour, and reducing the
nutrient load discharges to the environment to protect the
Great Barrier Reef. ey will reduce the annual nitrogen
and phosphorus loads in the treated e uent by 28t and 16t
respectively, compared to the existing plants. e design of
the facilities will allow for population growth in the region
for the next 15 to 20 years.
e new designs will include modern technology
including enhanced biological nutrient removal (BNR)
through Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) and Membrane
Bio Reactor (MBR) technology. ey will also include
chemical nutrient removal, mechanical dewatering, odour
control, emergency back-up power and remote control.
Tenix is pursuing an IS Design rating for the two plants,
Government delivery agencies in particularly are
increasingly embracing the IS rating tool. Agencies
recognise that the tool draws on the best practice national
standards, guidelines, government policy and regulations
where sustainable practices are already in place, to ensure
consistency and avoid duplication, such as for national
energy and greenhouse reporting.
Infrastructure Australia is embedding social,
economic and environmental decision-making to deliver
infrastructure that provides lasting economic, social and
environmental bene ts. is triple bottom line approach
also underpins ISCA s approach. is approach to decision-
making and measuring bene ts allows projects and assets to
be evaluated on the strength of processes and performance
which in turn, can inform project procurement and
"upstream" key planning and decision-making activities.
e tool has already been used in the evaluation of options,
informing upstream planning as part of early design phases.
As the tool development and re nement is ongoing, the
council is inviting organisations to participate in the pilot
trial application of IS rating tool for rating the operation of
ISCA chief executive Antony Spring said: "Take-up
of the rating tool for infrastructure project design and
construction has been positive. However, during the pilot
trial process, the tool was only tested on one operating asset.
[ erefore the Operation rating pilot still has] exciting
opportunities to be involved in the next progression of the
IS rating tool."
ISCA is also currently in the process of expanding the
application of the tool to apply to a range of other sectors.
For example, it is currently partnering with the Institute
of Public Works Engineering Australia to adapt the tool
to road operations and maintenance programs for local
councils. Signi cantly, 84% of all roads (by length) are
maintained by Australia s 560 local councils.
ISCA is also working with Western Australia Department
of Mines & Petroleum to scope out what would be required
to use the current IS scheme in the mining sector.
For organisations interested in being part of the ongoing
scheme development and collaboration with other member
organisations through ISCA networks and events, look to
the membership details and bene ts on the ISCA website
Rick Walters is technical director at ISCA.
building on its involvement in piloting the rating scheme.
e company is striving to incorporate best-practice
sustainability initiatives into the design, construction and
operation of the plants. e materials used in Tenix s design
have already resulted in a 38% reduction in CO2-e emissions
from the client-provided design and an estimated daily
saving of 100-300kWh of power compared to typical plant
designs. Savings of around 500t of cement in the build have
been achieved, along with the selection and use of "green"
concrete -- substituting up to 30% of cement component
with y ash from a nearby power station.
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