Water Treatment Plants for Small Communities
This report was produced for the Urban Water Research Association of Australia, a now discontinued research program.
Report No UWRAA 146
This report contains the results of a project “Water Treatment for Small Communities”, which commenced in 1991 under the auspices of the Urban Water Research Association of Australia.
The report contains a literature review, water quality considerations and issues, an explanation of a broad range of water treatment processes, a survey of water authorities in Australia, a survey of proprietary water treatment equipment suppliers and the results of pilot plant testing of a number of proprietary plants.
The principal findings of the report are summarised below:
- Common problems faced by small communities are isolation, limited financial resources, lack of economies of scale, lack of qualified personnel for design, operation & maintenance and reluctance to commit funds to untried technology.
- Some of the desirable requirements of a small community water treatment plant are low capital, operating and maintenance costs, simple operation and maintenance, ability to be left unattended for long periods, manageable residuals, reliability, no chemical dosing (if possible), and spare parts and repair capabilities readily available.
- Proprietary package water treatment plants are often used in small communities. Traditional package plants generally use modified conventional water treatment processes. Increasingly package plants make use of more recent technology such as microfiltration.
- The type of water treatment plants serving small communities in Australia are varied. The range covers conventional treatment, direct filtration, traditional package plants with tube settlers, continuous contacts and filters to microfiltration and desalination.
- A large number of proprietary treatment processes and package plants are readily available in Australia of either local design and manufacture to overseas developed equipment sold under licence.
- Pilot plant trials have shown that proprietary plants generally perform well when they are treating waters of a raw water quality that is within their capabilities to treat. Selection of proprietary equipment should be site specific and ideally pilot trials undertaken.