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EDU FOR 02: 2015 Student Project Proposal

*Instructions on page 5

1. Are you applying for WaterRA sponsorship or are you submitting a member / external sponsored project?
Member sponsored project.
1A. Type of Project: e.g. PhD, Masters or Honours

2. Project Title (Please provide a brief project title <15 words)

Investigating hydrodynamics and biogeochemistry for destratification optimisation in Chichester Dam.

3. Short Form Project Title (100 character limit for use on www.waterra.com.au and WaterRA Publications)
Chichester Dam Bubble Plume Destratification Optimisation

4. Key words: (Please supply keywords to assist search queries on waterra.com.au)

Hunter Water, Chichester Dam, Destratification, Optimisation, biogeochemistry, water quality, reservoir,
hydrodynamics, drinking water

5. Abstract: (Project teaser for use on WaterRA website - Max 300 words)
Thermal stratification in reservoirs is a common managerial issue for drinking water providers, as all reservoirs
undergo varying degrees of stratification particularly during the summer months. Manual destratification is a
conventional management technique used in reservoirs to prevent and/or minimise thermal stratification, in an
attempt to maintain water quality and avoid anoxic events and accidental turnover events.

Managing stratification can be a costly exercise, with questionable benefits, as it can use significant amounts of
energy to destratify even a portion of a reservoir. To minimise energy costs and effectively manage drinking water
quality, it is important to understand the hydrodynamic and biogeochemical processes within the reservoir.
Chichester Dam has been found to thermally stratify, with high dissolved manganese and iron concentrations in
water near the reservoir bed, resulting in poor raw water quality and complaints from drinking water customers. To
manage this, a destratification system is currently in use to meet Water Management Licence conditions and improve
drinking water quality. This destratifier system incurs notable operational costs that are increasing annually, yet does
not operate efficiently or provide adequate mixing. The potential remains for iron and manganese to be released
from the bed throughout most of the reservoir.

Previous investigations have identified that more information is needed on the processes causing significantly low
dissolved oxygen and less than desirable water quality within the reservoir. This project will focus in investigating
biogeochemical and hydrodynamic processes throughout the reservoir to determine what is driving water quality
issues in Chichester Dam, using field and laboratory based experiments. This data, combined with historical
information, will be used to develop 3-dimensional modelling of the reservoir and optimise water quality
management. This project combines multi-disciplinary theoretical research and applied practice, with the
implementation of the results enabling the optimisation of water quality management in Chichester Dam.

6a. List the WaterRA Research Blueprint topic(s) if 6b. Relevance to WaterRA Research Blueprint if
applicable. (Refer to the WaterRA Research Framework: applicable (Please provide a narrative of <100 words per
Plan on a Page e.g. P1.1, C3.2 etc) topic linking this research to the Blueprint)
P3.3 Quantify the cost savings and public health benefits Hunter Waters key research questions would be similar to
of treatment processes the draft RFP as voted by Water RA Members in Sept
2013 which proposed to investigate the Optimisation of
Reservoir Mixing.
Key questions included -
What drives water quality conditions in an aging
Are there specific benefits to
destratification/mixing and can these be
predicted in advance to assist in capital
investment and operational decisions for the
installation of mixers?
How do the benefits of mixing compare with
alternative treatment costs? Is there scope to
optimise mixing and treatment steps to minimise
total treatment costs? Under what circumstances
can reservoir mixing replace conventional water
treatment processes such as oxidation of
What evidence is there for optimisation of design
of mixers with respect to life cycle costs?

7. Start Date (indicative at the time of submission) 8. Project Duration (months)

Start of 2015 36 months

9. Project Sponsor Details (if applicable)

Name: Angus Seberry
Organisation: Hunter Water Corporation
Email: Angus.seberry@hunterwater.com.au
Telephone: 02 4979 9453

10. Research Organisation Details (if known)

Primary Dr Martin S. Andersen
Organisation: University of New South Wales
Email: m.andersen@unsw.edu.au
Telephone: 02 8071 9824
Assoc Dr William Glamore, University of New South Wales, w.glamore@wrl.unsw.edu.au, 02 8071 9868
Supervisors: Dr Louise McKenzie, Hunter Water, louise.mckenzie@hunterwater.com.au, 02 4979 9499
(name , organisation,
email & telephone)
(name , organisation,
email & telephone)

11. Nominate student (If a student has commenced on the project (less than one year) or you wish to identify a
preferred student complete the following. Please note, the student must be eligible for a WaterRA scholarship as
detailed on the website)
Date candidature commenced
Other relevant details
(ie: primary scholarship/s)

12. List the preferred skills / interests / degree required by student (Briefly indicate the preferred skills and
knowledge as well as current undergraduate degree/s which will be suitable for the project)
This project will combine the disciplines of water engineering, science, mathematical modelling and geochemistry,
providing a diverse learning experience for a PhD project.
13. Location (List the location/s where the student / project will primarily be based)
University of New South Wales Either Kensington Campus in Sydney or
Water Research Laboratory
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
UNSW Australia
Manly Vale, NSW, 2093, Australia

14 Supervision history Briefly outline the number of students supervised to completion and
the number of students the supervisor/s is currently supervising
Current Students Completed Past Students
List supervisors PHD HON SUM PHD HON SUM
Martin Andersen 5 4 9 2 26 28
William Glamore 0 1 1 1 9 10
Louise McKenzie 0 2 2 0 0 0

15. Experience and capability of supervisor/s (Briefly outline the capability of the supervisors in the proposed
research field. Insert extra lines if required)
Give total number of published
Available number of hours/week to
List Supervisors peer-reviewed journal and
spend on project
conference papers
Martin Andersen 7 J/C 30/97
William Glamore 7 53
Louise McKenzie 5 6

List top 5 publications relevant to this area for all supervisors

1 Investigation of Pollution in Rivers and Groundwater by Fluorescence
2 Review of the Destratification of Chichester Dam via Artificial Mixing Systems
3 Formation, Structure and Rheology of Ferric Oxide and Hydroxide Suspensions
4 Stratification Dynamics of Lake Parramatta
5 Geochemical processes and solute transport at the seawater/freshwater interface of a sandy aquifer

16. Is this project associated with another project? (Delete what is not applicable. If yes, Yes / No
explain clearly the association including the name of other relevant projects and project
numbers if applicable etc)

17. Project Background and Summary (Provide a short background and project summary. Identify the specific
problem the project will solve; the current state of industry knowledge or practice, and how the project advances
knowledge or practice) (Max 400 words)
Chichester Dam has been found to thermally stratify, particularly during the summer months, leading to water quality
issues. To manage this, a destratification system is currently in use to meet Water Management Licence conditions
and improve drinking water quality. This destratifier system is currently incurring notable operational costs that are
increasing annually. Presently the destratification system is not providing adequate mixing to destratify the reservoir
and is not operating efficiently. The potential remains for iron and manganese to be released from the bed
throughout most of the reservoir.
Hunter Water has undertaken several investigations on the performance of the Chichester Dam destratification
processes. The latest study has identified that more information is needed on the processes causing significantly low
dissolved oxygen and less than desirable water quality within the reservoir. This includes the need for a much greater
understanding of the content and decay rates for reactive organic matter: dissolved, suspended and in the benthic
sediment throughout the reservoir. This information combined with additional abiotic data will enable hydrochemical
and hydrodynamic modelling of the reservoir, resulting in optimisation of how the reservoir is managed.
New additional sampling locations throughout the reservoir are required to gain operational understanding of
hydrodynamic and biogeochemical processes. It is also proposed that the development of a 3-dimensional
hydrodynamic model would allow a much better understanding of the reservoir, enabling a more sophisticated
approach to managing water quality by determining the risk and consequences of dam stratification.
Hunter Water believes that the existing destratification system will eventually need to be replaced with a significantly
reconfigured diffuser to improve mixing efficiency or decommissioned. It is anticipated that the studies outlined
above will greatly improve the understanding of the reservoir and provide valuable information that would assist in
the design and operational philosophy for a new reconfigured system.
This project will provide the water management industry with an example of how scientifically based decision making
can be implemented to manage an aging reservoir with the goal to optimise operational costs and outcomes.

18. Project Objectives (Specific, high level. No more than 5 dot points)
Investigate the role of benthic, dissolved and suspended organic matter on water quality
Improve knowledge of hydrodynamic processes within Chichester Dam
Confirm existing constraints and inefficiencies associated with the existing destratification system
Utilise findings on reservoir water quality processes to implement energy savings through better
Reduce the risk of poor water quality events through better management

19. Proposed Methodology (Specific, high level. No more than 5 dot points)
Review and methodology: review the literature and develop methodologies for determining the content and
decay rate of reactive organic matter in water and sediment.
Data collection: determine the relative contributions of dissolved, suspended and sedimentary organic
matter on water quality processes in the water column using field and laboratory based experiments.
Modelling and process interpretation: reactive transport modelling.
Management optimisation: analyse and review destratification management options and optimisation.

20. Industry Benefits (Briefly indicate the benefits that the project will deliver to the water industry and how the
knowledge outcomes will be transferred i.e. route to market) (Max 400 words)
It is well known that designing effective destratification systems can be complex and systems that rely on aeration
processes can be very expensive to operate. A proposed research project to better understand and optimise reservoir
mixing systems was listed in the top eight priority research projects by members in the Water Research Australia
2013 round of core funding through an RFP process to continue delivery of the Research Blueprint.

Although the hydrodynamic nature of reservoirs varies greatly the development of a comprehensive case study using
Hunter Waters Chichester Dam would contribute valuable knowledge and useful information that could be utilised
across the industry to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of destratification systems.

21. Communication Activities (Briefly indicate the key strategies for communicating project outcomes with project
collaborators and WaterRA members) (Max 400 words)
The project progress will be presented by the PhD student to Hunter Water at regular progress meetings.
At the end of year 2 and 3 progress will be presented to a wider audience at WaterRA meetings. As part of the
academic training the PhD student will present her/his work at 2-4 national and international conferences.
Depending on the project outcome it is anticipated that the student (together with the supervision team) will
produce 2-4 international peer-reviewed journal articles. The number and publication timing of journal articles will be
conditional to the journal peer-review process (i.e. some of these papers are likely to be published after the project
determination date). Finally the student will produce a PhD thesis which will be made publicly available after the
examination and required revisions.

22. Identify support for project (identify any additional support you may have secured for the project, including
expert staff, access to specific equipment/data, financial support or other contributions. Maximum 5 dot points).
This is to demonstrate suitable resources and support is available for the student and project
- Access to all previous Hunter Water investigations undertaken in relation to Chichester Dam
- Access to internal specialist water resources staff
- Access to laboratory facilities at UNSW/WRL
- Monitoring and sampling equipment as available from Hunter Water and/or UNSW - Water Resources
23. Comments (include any other information which is relevant to the project. If this is a sponsored project, include
the percentage of IP ownership as agreed between sponsor and university)
There is the opportunity to undertake this work as research in collaboration with UNSW and WRL by engaging a PhD
student. The student would conduct all aspects of the research, including data collection, field experiments and
hydrological modelling.
IP will be jointly owned by Hunter Water Corp and UNSW.

24. Are there potential concerns or any restrictions to publication of this project?
(List existing background IP and potential new IP that the project may generate if relevant)
If yes, how does your organisation plan to capture this new IP?

25. Acknowledgement of WaterRA Intellectual Property licensing requirement:

In submitting a student project application, the applicant must acknowledge that the IP is owned by the organisation
as listed in the SIPCA Agreement (either sponsor or university), it is agreed in principle to grant WaterRA a non-
exclusive royalty free license to the Project Intellectual Property as follows:
Allowing use for Education Purposes among WaterRA's Membership.
Allowing use for application in further research.
Allowing the granting by WaterRA of a royalty free sublicense to WaterRA Members granting them rights to
apply the Project Intellectual Property in internal processes relating to the management and treatment of
water, wastewater or recycled water. Such rights would NOT extend to other forms of commercialisation, and
for the avoidance of doubt would not allow any WaterRA Member to compete in the marketplace with parties
taking a commercial license to the Project Intellectual Property.

Signed: ....................................................................... Dated: ...............................................

(Authorised Officer)

Project Plan (insert lines as required). For PhD students include one OzWater conference and one overseas conference,
year can be TBA. Honours and Masters students can identify either OzWater Conference or other suitable conference.
List tasks with general month/year dates where possible
Date Task
Feb 2015 Student orientation event
Literature review, Methodology development
2016 OzWater Conference or related.
2017 Overseas conference

Submission of thesis
TBA Final presentation as determined between WaterRA, the supervisor and the student
Thesis to WaterRA
PhD students must provide to WaterRA upon notification of conferral, one bound hard copy of
thesis and electronic version for WaterRA website
Masters students must provide to WaterRA upon conferral, one bound hard copy of thesis and
electronic version for WaterRA website
Honours Students one electronic version for WaterRA website by end of January the following
Please note Project Proposals must be six pages or less. Applications that exceed this length will not
be considered. Please submit applications in word format and not PDF. Complete the fields on the