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Recent Posts



Operators Play a Crucial Role

The operation and management of a drinking water supply system is one of the most important jobs in the world. While the ultimate responsibility and credit for running a safe water supply system belongs to the entire water team, operators play a crucial role. But do the upper level management recognise this sufficiently? Do they invest enough in ongoing training and professional development? Operators must be appropriately skilled and trained, as their actions can have a major impact on drinking water quality and public health. Ideally, operators should have or be working towards upgrading their skills e.g. certificate in water operations. An operator can now attain certified status under th

Background to Critical Control Points

Critical Control Points (CCP) are an important component of Drinking Water Quality Management Plans (DWQMP) as well Recycled Water Management Plans (RWMP). However, the concept was originally developed in the food industry and has been utilised in these water specific management systems. The Codex Alimentarius (Latin for Food Code) is a collection of internationally recognised food standards. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) System and Guidelines for its Application is one of the standards for food safety. HACCP has seven principles: conduct a hazard analysis. determine the CCPs. establish critical limit(s). establish a system to monitor control of the CCP. establish the co

Get the most from your audit

No one looks forward to an audit. They are inevitable, but you can make sure you get additional value from the process, rather than just ticking a box for the regulator. It is not often you have the opportunity to take a critical look at how the risk management plan is working, let alone having an independent risk management specialist whose main focus look for ways to improve your processes. Audits don’t need to be onerous or daunting; a little bit of preparation can make the audit run smoothly and take the pressure off staff and improve the audit outcomes. Here are a couple of recommendations from our auditors. Understand the audit scope: The water regulators often issue guidelines on unde

'Tis the Season for Reporting

Are you ready for this years reporting? With the festive season right around the corner, things like holiday plans, present lists and Christmas lunch come to mind. However before the holidays roll around, Queensland Drinking Water Service Providers should be asking themselves: Are we ready for Drinking Water Quality Management Plan (DWQMP) Annual Report submission? We’ve put together a quick set of questions to see how your organisation is faring. When is the Annual Report due? Annual Report submission to the Regulator is due 120 business days after the end of financial year, this year it falls on the 19 December 2017. What should be in the contents? The reportable period for the annual repo

What is Turbidity?

Turbidity Measurement Turbidity is used a lot when talking about water quality and the performance of water treatment plants (WTP). But what is turbidity and what do the results mean? Simply put turbidity is the amount of light scattered by water. Light passing through water is scattered by suspended and colloidal matter. Turbidity measurements are made using electronic nephelometers, which report results as nephelometric turbidity units (NTU). These instruments use light detectors at a right-angle (90O) to a light source to measure the amount of scattered light. These can either be online (measures continuously) or bench top instruments (grab sample measurement). As a guide: <1 NTU water lo

What can be an indicator for safe quality tap water?

Tap water versus bottled water – seems to come up every now and then! Why do some people choose bottled water? The answer varies but ‘lack of trust in the quality of tap water’ does get thrown around. The customers need to feel secure and confident that the quality of water provided is safe. How can this be shown to customers? Microbiological compliance is one of the ways utilities use to demonstrate safety of water. However, reliance on only end-product testing does have limitations. With the adoption and implementation of the risk-based management systems/plans, utilities now have more focussed process controls in place. An indicator around risk based management plans/system thus should be

Risk Management Plan regulatory audit requirements 2017

The Victorian Department of Human and Health Services (DHHS) has released the guidance information for this cycle of Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 Risk Management Plan (RMP) regulatory audits. This audit period commences 1 October 2017. Audit certificates must be submitted to DHHS by 31 May 2018. The previous audit cycle commenced only a few months after the amendment of the Safe Drinking Water Regulation in 2015, therefore utilities had only been operating under the new requirements for a brief period of time. For this round of audits, it is the expectation of DHHS that the requirements of the regulations are fully addressed. Key audit areas for this audit cycle include: quantification of mi


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