GHD awarded for pump station upgrade, sanitary survey improvement
Professional services company GHD has been the recipient of two different awards in recent weeks, which were presented at opposite ends of Australia.
Cairns Regional Project of the Year
On 21 October, it was announced that GHD and Cairns Regional Council won the Cairns Regional Engineering Awards Project of the Year 2017 from Engineers Australia for the upgrade of the Deep Creek Sewage Pump Station. According to the judges, the project has set a new benchmark in wet well rehabilitation.
After 25 years serving the Northern Beaches suburbs of Cairns, the pump station’s internal structure had deteriorated to the point that a major refurbishment was required. The pump station also required a general upgrade to cater for the next 25 years of population growth.
Due to the location of the pump station, it was not feasible to replace the facility with a new pump station. Instead, GHD and the council developed a design approach to reconstruct this critical asset, while overhauling all of its systems: pumps, controls, electrical, pipework and odour systems. The damaged surfaces were removed using high-pressure hydro demolition equipment and reinstated with corrosion-resistant lining.
To enable the pump station to be taken offline for the remedial works, GHD designed a semipermanent bypass system that would limit the risk of a sewage overflow. The design team also developed systems to measure the materials being applied to the walls in order to achieve the correct thickness.
The project was completed on time and on budget, extending the operating life of the pump station facility and catering for future population growth. The refurbished facility decreases the sewer retention time, resulting in less odour generation, and the semipermanent bypass system can be utilised in future asset condition assessments.
Victorian Spatial Enablement Award
Less than two weeks later, on 1 November, GHD’s Digital team was recognised at the Victorian Spatial Excellence Awards, winning the Spatial Enablement Award for making the process of conducting sanitary surveys of drinking water catchments more efficient and less prone to error.
The purpose of sanitary surveys is to identify sources of microbial pathogens in water catchments and systematically quantify the risk to human health. As noted by Mina Jahanshahi, GHD’s senior advisor – location intelligence, “Normally, scientists, surveyors and engineers spend a lot of time transferring data collected in the field into a digital format, then classifying all the surveys for each catchment, followed by calculating all intermediate and cumulative results, and finally transferring the information into a report.
“Each step is not only time consuming, it also increases the chances of errors creeping up somewhere in the process.”
The cost, risk and usability of this process have now been improved thanks to GHD’s in-house application development capabilities, combined with data collection and visualisation tools from ESRI. GHD’s new approach has been used by Melbourne Water, SEQWater and Barwon Water.
On-site, the user utilises their preferred device to complete a ‘smart’ questionnaire that dynamically selects and presents questions based on previous answers. The cumulative risks are calculated and presented live depending on the responses, and can be further refined when the scientist returns to the office.
The result is a clear, streamlined and repeatable process that can be done in a consistent manner by different people in the field. Every stakeholder can see online where the surveys are taken, what the results are and which surveys are still outstanding. All surveys are kept in a digital form, including photo evidence and written comments, so no data is lost in conversion. The end report can be immediately generated using a Python script.
“Our new approach enables people to focus on the core of environmental work — drawing conclusions from the data — instead of having to act as database managers,” Jahanshahi said.
“The process is easily repeatable for sanitary survey projects across Australia. This is especially important since sanitary surveys have to be undertaken at regular intervals under environmental regulations.”