A low-cost sewer monitoring device has placed Mackay Regional Council among the 2018 Queensland Water Award winners.
The council took the Program Innovation Award (under 250,000 end users) for its MiSewer program.
MiSewer obtains real-time data on sewer networks and alerts crews to potential blockages and capacity issues, allowing them to act before an overflow occurs.
Cr Martin Bella said Mackay Regional Council’s MiSewer program was achieving outstanding results and it was great to be recognised and share the innovative program with the water industry.
“Currently, no other water utility in Australia is providing a low-cost sewer level monitoring program and aligning the data to better understand the networks performance,” Cr Bella said.
“Thanks to council’s Smart Sewer program, a considerable number of dry weather blockages have been tended to prior to spilling into the environment.”
Whitsunday Regional Council was also among those recognised for innovation, picking up the Infrastructure Project Innovation Award (Under 250,000 end users) for the recent $1.1 million solar and generator upgrade at the Bowen Water Treatment Plant.
Chief executive officer Barry Omundson said the council was always looking for innovative solutions to provide a more efficient service to the community.
“This outstanding project will reduce operational costs by over $250,000 per year,” he said.
“The solar and generator upgrade will also assist in keeping the water flowing to Bowen when major power outages occur during events like Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
“Thanks to this project Council has already saved enough power to run a TV for 2.8 million hours, and offset the carbon footprint of 165 cars for a year.”
The awards are run by the Australian Water Association and were announced at a dinner this month. The Queensland winners will automatically be entered into the National Australian Water Awards, to be presented at Ozwater’19 in Melbourne, May 7-9 2019.
The full list of 2018 Queensland Water Award winners is below:
Research Innovation Award
UGOLD – Advanced Water Management Centre, The University of Queensland
and Queensland Urban Utilities.
UGOLD autonomously recovers the nutrients in urine – at high rates, low energy consumption
and without any chemical dosing – as a super-concentrated liquid that can find reuse as a
Program Innovation Award – Under 250,000 end users
MiSewer, Mackay Water Services – Mackay Regional Council.
MiSewer is a low-cost sewer level monitoring program with mobile alert system via SMS, email and GIS spatial interface. The council redesigned its Smart Water Metering technology to monitor the sewer network and utilised their existing wireless communication network.
Program Innovation Award – Over 250,000 end users
Queensland Water Regional Alliance Program (QWRAP) – Department of Natural Resources,
Mines and Energy.
The Queensland Water Regional Alliance Program is a significant partnership arrangement
between State Government, Local Government and industry.
Infrastructure Project Innovation Award – Under 250,000 end users
Bowen Water Treatment Plant Solar Plant and Resilience Upgrade – Whitsunday Regional
Whitsunday Water has recently commissioned a 400kW solar array with permanent stand-by
generators at the Bowen Water Treatment Plant. As a result of a full electrical system upgrade,
almost half the plant is now powered by clean energy, the supply is more resilient and there has
been a reduction in carbon emissions.
Infrastructure Project Innovation Award – Over 250,000 end users
Sun and Salt: Logan’s Water Quality Solution – Logan City Council, Downer, Cardno and WSP.
The $3 million project at Round Mountain Reservoir combines solar power, battery storage and electro-chlorination technologies to maintain water quality for residents.
Distinguished Service Award
Regional Service Award
Dr Rob Fearon, qldwater
Student Water Prize
Controlling and Monitoring Algae Blooms in Effluent Storage Ponds – Lindsay Stafford,
Gladstone Regional Council.
Young Water Professional of the Year Award (sponsored by TRILITY)
William Speirs, Strategy and Business Development Analyst, Unitywater
Water Professional of the Year Award
Richard Savage, Technical Director – Water Process and Systems, GHD