Sharing our learning on an international stage 

Posted: 27 February 2017
Korean delegation
Towards the end of last year, the Association’s International Program supported a delegation of 16 public sector wastewater professionals from South Korea to visit a variety of sites across Australia to learn about best practice in storm water management. 

As part of the delegation’s visit, Queensland Urban Utilities was delighted to host a tour of their Oxley Creek Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). The group had expressed great interest in visiting the STP to understand how Queensland Urban Utilities overcame the Brisbane floods in 2011, and to gain knowledge in relation to Queensland Urban Utilities’ approach to the flood recovery project. The group of delegates was also keen to learn more about Australian water treatment processes, technologies and standards. 
 
In the wake of the January 2011 flood event, Queensland Urban Utilities is delivering an $85 million, five-year flood resilience program. The flood event caused substantial damage to Queensland Urban Utilities’ water and sewerage network, and caused significant service interruption for their customers. Five of Queensland Urban Utilities’ sewage treatment plants, and 20 sewage pump stations, were rendered inoperable due to inundation of mechanical, electrical and control equipment.  Two metres of water swept through their second biggest treatment plant located at Oxley Creek.

Korea has been hugely affected by floods in recent years; with severe damage and loss of life caused in 2011, 2014 and 2016. Infrastructure resilience and safety is therefore a high priority for the Korean Water utilities. 
 
On the tour, the Korean delegation explored a range of aspects involved in this wide reaching program, including the sustainable design principles that are incorporated into the flood resilience program. These minimise energy and water consumption and wastewater production. Modifications of a number of key electrical assets were also demonstrated. These aim to significantly improve their flood resilience and minimise down time in the event of another flood of the same magnitude as experienced in 2011. 
  
Of the Tour’s outcomes, Queensland Urban Utilities’ Nadine Kluss said; 

“International collaboration, such as the visit from the Korean delegation, provides an opportunity for those involved to discuss our respective water industries, seeing the commonalities and the differences in our operating models, understanding the challenges we face, and sharing insights on the activities we undertake. In short, it provides a significant opportunity to collaborate and share information to drive operational excellence.”

The Australian Water Association currently has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KETI) and is preparing for a future MoU between the Association and the Korean Water and Wastewater Works Association (KWWA). The Association is looking to build on these relationships to enhance collaboration between the Australian and Korean water sectors and identify needs that can be addressed using Australian water expertise, skills and technologies.

To learn more about the Association’s International Program please visit its webpages

To explore business to business introductions with our Korean Delegation at Ozwater please contact RGoedecke@awa.asn.au

To find out more about activities underway as part of Queensland Urban Utilities’ Flood Recovery Project please visit its latest project page