Hundreds of water industry experts will pour in to Bundaberg next week for the 2019 Queensland Water Industry Operations Conference and Exhibition.
The event is an opportunity for industry professionals to share their technical expertise and a chance for anyone with an interest in water to connect with suppliers from throughout the state.
Water Industry Operators Association of Australia Chief Operations Officer Craig Mathisen said it was the first time in its 44 years that the conference was being held in the Bundaberg Region.
He said the availability of the Multiplex Sports and Convention Centre had enabled the significant event to be held in Bundaberg.
“We are hoping to get 650 people over the two days,” Mr Mathisen said.
“That’s including delegates, exhibitors – there will be over 100 trade sites – and walk-in visitors.
“There is a large economic benefit for the town. People travel from across Australia to attend.”
The two-day event will be officially opened by Bundaberg Regional Council Deputy Mayor Bill Trevor on Wednesday, 5 June and water services portfolio spokesman Cr Jason Bartels will also attend.
“I look forward to attending the conference and learning about some of the innovative practices that are shaping the water industry of tomorrow,” Cr Bartels said.
“The Gin Gin Water Treatment Plant upgrade will be showcased to visitors from across Australia.
“This exchange of knowledge and information benefits everyone in the industry as we strive for continuous improvement and best practice.”
Technical program draws industry experts
The technical program will see experts from Cairns to Brisbane presenting papers.
Mr Mathisen said it was an opportunity for water industry professionals, who sometimes worked in isolated areas, to collaborate and learn from the experiences of others.
“We’ve got over 20 technical presentations from across Queensland and a few other states as well.
“Sharing their ideas and expertise is really valuable for other attendees.
“Two award-winning presentations from similar conferences in other states will be presented at the conference.
“The program includes a number of Bundaberg locals in the program with Karl Zimmerlie presenting about the Gin Gin Water Treatment Plant upgrade and technical posters presented by Charndeep Chahal, Lee Wieden and Jeff Rohdmann all from Bundaberg Regional Council.”
Bundaberg Regional Council treatment and reticulation coordinator Karl Zimmerlie started his water career with Council 18 years ago.
Next week’s event will be his first paper presentation at a state water conference and will delve in to the Gin Gin Water Treatment Plant upgrade.
“The upgrade introduced powder activated carbon to the treatment plant to address taste and odour issues,” Mr Zimmerlie said.
“It was a very successful project which incorporated a couple of innovative ideas with the control of two source waters.
“Now we can change between the two depending on which will provide better water quality.”
He said participants from other councils would be interested to hear about the process given that it was undertaken by council staff save for particular components where specialist contractors were required.
Exhibitors bring plenty of expertise
The exhibition is free to attend on Wednesday, 5 June and Thursday, 6 June from 9am to 4pm and is open to members of the public.
“There will be massive technical expertise in the exhibition,” Mr Mathisen said.
“It’s not just for people who work in the water industry, it’s for anyone who has water in their business.
“That could be plumbers, farming or agriculture.
“There are going to be a heap of suppliers who will have a solution for them as well.”
Which state has the best tasting water?
The event will also include the Ixom Water of Origin on Wednesday.
Queensland will be represented by the Mackay Regional Council, whose water sample will take on the team form Shoalhaven Water form Nowra in New South Wales to find out which state has the best tasting tap water.
In 2014 Bundaberg Regional Council’s Lovers Walk Scheme sample took out the water of origin competition for Queensland.
Paper presentation highlights:
- Melanie Slimming from SAWater will share her story on how a facility was saved by the operator; this presentation won the Best Paper Overall South Australia 2018.
- Paul Beard from Water Corporation, all the way from Broome in WA, will present on how wastewater can benefit the community, in particular in an indigenous community near Broome.