In November 2018 a collaborative team of engineers and project managers from Hunter Water and Hunter H2O have received an engineering excellence award for innovation in water supply and wastewater from the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia.

Hunter Water and Hunter H2O worked in partnership together and with local civil and mechanical contractors to design and deliver a critical upgrade to wastewater treatment plants at Belmont and Cessnock. The project faced significant implementation challenges as flows into each plant could not be shut down for more than 2-4 hours at a time (during the middle of the night).

The team developed a range of innovations during the planning and design stages. Hydraulic modelling, 3D modelling and investigation of new coating technologies and application techniques was undertaken to develop strategies for staged implementation of bypass pipework and concrete remediation.

The construction phase was planned in 17 shutdowns, each of which were planned within 15 minute increments. Numerous operational teams were deployed across each catchment for simultaneous isolation with SMS technologies used to ensure lockouts and safe access for contractors.

The resulting works will extend the life of assets which are critical to the operation of wastewater services for the equivalent of 150,000 households. The planning approach using remediation has saved the community millions of dollars in deferral of new assets and was delivered safely, on time and under budget.

The Project Manager of Hunter Water Corporation, Johnny Landman applauded his team with this message issued shortly after the work was completed, “Congratulations and many thanks for all the dedication, hard work and effort and working as a great team to make this challenging project a success.”