Aqwest, the operating arm of the Bunbury Water Board, supplies water to approximately 12,000 service connections for the 30,000 residents of the town of Bunbury, Western Australia, 180km south of Perth.
Aqwest operates seven water treatment plants, associated bores and high level booster pumps. Its main activities are water treatment and water distribution.
In 1996/97, it had a turnover of $5.1 million and a workforce of 27.
In 1983, the water treatment and distribution system was fairly archaic, with 9 water treatment plants and 13 high level booster pump stations spread along the sandy coastal strip around Bunbury.
Systems were uncontrolled and uncoordinated. Water pressures fluctuated hour by hour, day by day, and season by season. Pumping pressures placed considerable stress on equipment and components.
Use of equipment was inefficient; there were no energy or demand management programs in place; nor any comprehensive asset management program.
Customer satisfaction with water quality was low.
Cleaner Production Initiative
Cleaner production initiatives introduced included:
- improvements to the operational efficiency of plant and equipment;
- process efficiency improvements eg calculations of kilowatt hour/kilolitre ratios for each treatment plant has allowed plants to be ranked on the basis of their energy efficiency;
- introduction of a control and data acquisition system, so that all treatment plants can be monitored from a single remote control point;
- introduction of a new water treatment system, which allows the water used to clean the filtration systems to be recycled.