In South Australia, SUEZ and its partners are optimising SA Water’s networks to deliver sustainable water and wastewater services to residents in metropolitan Adelaide – one of the driest inhabited places on Earth.
Partnerships between the public and private sectors can realise significant efficiencies in government-owned water utilities and help them meet current and future challenges. In 2011, SA Water turned to an alliance model to enhance the operation and maintenance of Adelaide’s metropolitan water and wastewater systems. It engaged Allwater, a joint venture between SUEZ and Broadspectrum, to work in partnership with it to define objectives, set targets, establish effective systems and processes, and deliver critical improvements across its operations.
SA Water’s assets are extensive, spanning six water treatment plants, six wastewater treatment plants and three recycled water plants, along with 9,000 kilometres of water mains and 7,200 kilometres of sewer mains. The alliance works toward shared goals to ensure SA Water’s assets achieve peak performance. This unified, flexible approach has driven improvements in the provision of safe and abundant drinking water for Adelaide’s residents through optimising filtration processes and upgrading control systems.
In wastewater treatment, Allwater’s operational improvements have resulted
in reduced discharge into the sensitive local marine environment
without additional capital investment or energy requirements, while
enhancements to recycled water processes support South Australia’s
leadership in recycled water uptake. Around 100,000 mechanical and
electrical assets have been optimised across 2,700 sites, bringing
improved reliability and cutting maintenance costs.
Innovation at work
Ongoing investment in research and innovation is an essential component of the Allwater partnership. The team collaborates with SA Water to explore new opportunities, drive further improvements and proactively respond to emerging issues. At Christie’s Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant, a feasibility study for advanced aeration control systems delivered enhanced nitrogen removal rates and potential annual cost savings of $90,000, while a blower and diffuser efficiency review contributed to a 13 per cent energy efficiency gain at the plant. The use of advanced technical solutions is encouraged to drive efficiency, treatment performance and asset reliability.
Each year, Allwater delivers around 140 gigalitres of drinking water to the people of Adelaide, treats 88 gigalitres of wastewater and produces around 26 gigalitres of recycled water. Through engaged and effective partnership, SA Water is better able to meet the challenges posed by water scarcity, population growth, aging infrastructure and evolving customer expectations.