Research

A ‘Road Map’ report, commissioned by the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence identified the structure and essential components of a national validation framework, and proposed a pathway for implementation.

The Road Map also identified specific knowledge gaps that represented barriers to the implementation of a more robust and nationally consistent validation framework. The findings became the basis of a significant two-year research program aimed at addressing these priority gaps.

To ensure the robustness and technical veracity of the validation protocols, each protocol is supported by industry best practice, drawn from national and international experience, and where required, new research to fill specific knowledge gaps.

The initial supporting research undertaken to date comprised five projects. The aim of each project was to generate and assemble the technical information necessary to deliver validation protocols that would integrate seamlessly into the national validation framework and support its implementation. A research Overview Report summarises the key research outcomes of each project.

These projects are described below, together with the respective industry project partners. Projects 1 to 3 were dedicated to the development of validation protocols for specific treatment processes. Projects 4 and 5 focussed on research which can support the validation of treatment processes more generally.


Research Project 1 – Membrane bioreactors

Develop a validation protocol by integrating large performance data sets from industry and studying numerous treatment facilities. The team’s final report is titled National Validation Guidelines for Water Recycling: Membrane Bioreactors.

Project partners

  • University of New South Wales
  • Victoria University
  • Melbourne Water Corporation
  • Koch Membrane Systems

Research Project 2 – Reverse osmosis membranes

Investigate failure mechanisms and online monitoring techniques to develop a protocol capable of achieving a Log Reduction or Removal Value of 3 and above. The team’s final report is titled National Validation Guidelines for Water Recycling: Reverse Osmosis Membranes.

Project partners

  • University of Queensland
  • University of New South Wales
  • Curtin University
  • Victoria University
  • WA Water Corporation

Research Project 3 – Activated sludge treatment

A validation protocol applicable to biological systems able to deal with changes based on seasonal and event based impacts.

Project partners

  • CSIRO
  • WA Water Corporation
  • South-East Water (Victoria)

Research Project 4 – Multiple barriers (integrated systems)

Recommend practical approaches for combining the individual validation of unit processes to achieve the overall validation of multi-barrier water recycling projects. The team’s final report is titled National Validation Guidelines for Water Recycling: Comprehensive Bayesian Recycled Water Validation.

Project partners

  • University of New South Wales
  • Water Futures
  • Griffith University
  • National Measurements Institute
  • SA Water
  • Melbourne Water
  • WA Water Corporation
  • South-East Water (Victoria)

Research Project 5 – Pathogen testing methods

Provide guidance to which surrogates/pathogens coupled with appropriate protocols are suitable for validation activities across particular wastewater treatment processes. The team’s final report is titled National Validation Guidelines for Water Recycling: Methods for Pathogen Isolation, Culture, Detection and Enumeration.

Project partners

  • SA Water
  • Australian Water Quality Centre (AWQC)
  • CSIRO
  • Sydney Water Corporation
  • Melbourne Water

What is WaterVal?

WaterVal provides a nationally consistent approach to the validation of water treatment technologies to enhance confidence in managing water treatment and supply.

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Framework

WaterVal benefits are delivered through an integrated management framework, including technology validation protocols, expert technical assessment, certification and data/information management functions.

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The 9 Elements

Based on national and international best practice, and backed by rigorous scientific research, each WaterVal protocol includes nine elements of validation, ensuring consistency and uniformity for users.

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Why WaterVal?

Current treatment technology validation arrangements across Australia are often duplicative. Higher costs, inconsistencies and longer times to achieve validation can inhibit innovation and efficiency, while potentially increasing the risks to water management outcomes.

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