Award-winning water project uses Endress+Hauser

Endress+Hauser have been successful in supplying the majority of the process instrumentation to the Western Corridor Re-Cycled Water Project (WCRWP), in South East Queensland (SEQ), including highly specialised engineered solutions to monitor the water quality through the treatment processes.

The WCRWP is one of a number of state government initiatives aimed at securing a future-proofed, climate-independent water supply for SEQ. The WCRWP will supply purified water to industry, agriculture, two power stations as well as supplementing the water flow into Wivenhoe Dam.

The initiative has attracted worldwide attention due to the sheer geographic size of the project, its engineering complexity and the innovative technology implemented, particularly in the water analysis treatment process. In April 2008, WCRWP won the Global Water Project of the Year Award from Global Water Intelligence, at a function in London, beating competing projects from the US and Poland.

Five separate alliances (JVs) were chosen by Brisbane Water to build the pipelines and the Advanced Water Treatment Plants (AWTPs). Endress+Hauser established a number of project teams that worked directly with the control and instrumentation divisions of the respective alliances to assist and advise on the selection of suitable technologies/products for different applications and provide expert opinion on all aspects of engineering, installation and commissioning.

The treated water from six sewage treatment plants (STPs) at Oxley, Goodna, Bundamba, Wacol, Luggage Point and Gibson Island will be processed further in three state-of-the-art AWTPs at Bundamba, Gibson Island and Luggage Point. Technically, what has excited the industry is the unique combination of technologies used in these AWTPs. The wastewater progresses through micro filtration; reverse osmosis; advanced oxidation; stabilisation and disinfection.

Endress+Hauser supplied over 1,000 devices at a total value in excess of $6 million. This represented over 80 per cent of the instrumentation commissioned throughout WCRWP’s wastewater and advanced wastewater treatment plants. Among the products offered were electromagnetic flowmeters for water flow measurement, thermal dispersion flowmeters for air, ultrasonic level devices, pressure sensors, level switches and temperature sensors – literally a one-stop-shop for instrumentation.

Endress+Hauser also custom designed air-conditioned cabinets to store the analysis reagents and internal wet racks to house the analysers, as well as pH, conductivity and turbidity systems. This is an extremely critical stage of the treatment process as potable water must have very precisely defined conductivity, pH and turbidity properties.

Due to the nature and design of the advanced water treatment plants in the WCRWP, these inline analysers feature prominently in Endress+Hauser’s contract. These analysers are however, maintenance intensive, requiring reagents and spare parts that need regular replacement and servicing.

For example, the Bundamba AWTP uses the latest membrane and advanced oxidation technologies to provide purified recycled water for cooling and other purposes at the power station. The main treatment steps – ultrafiltration membranes, reverse osmosis membranes followed by advanced oxidation using ultraviolet irradiation and hydrogen peroxide – employed at the plant comprise the first large-scale indirect potable reuse scheme in Australia.

Given Endress+Hauser’s knowledge, experience and virtual Main Instrument Vendor (MIV) status, the company was subsequently also appointed main instrumentation maintenance contractor for all the plants. They will act as a subcontractor to Veolia Water, the company responsible for operations and maintenance of the WCRWP.

A key factor enabling Endress+Hauser to win the maintenance contract was W@M – its Web-enabled Asset Management tool. Since every Endress+Hauser device is uniquely serial numbered at its ’birth’, a vast amount of critical data is automatically stored and made accessible 24/7 to the operators via W@M’s online portal. This data includes model details, manuals, manufacturing certificates, calibration certificates, original order number, hardware and software versions, spare parts information and service history.

Upon completion in December 2008, the project will have the capacity to supply 232 megalitres of water per day. This extremely complex five-alliance project adopted best practices and developed several pioneering solutions and drew on local and international engineering, instrumentation, process control, water treatment and construction expertise. No doubt, Endress+Hauser’s unique ability to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ supplier helped them win MIV status on this challenging project.

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