Monday, May 5, 2014

Australia - Sewer Corrosion - Bringing science to the sewers, a collaborative research work of five research and 11 industry partners coordinated by Advanced Water Management Centre, University of Queensland

It is a smelly problem with serious financial and environmental consequences. But a University of Queensland-led research project could spell the end for stinky sewers. And by dispelling the smell, researchers have cut down on the major cause of sewer corrosion, saving councils and utility companies hundreds of millions of dollars.

Led over five years by Professor Zhiguo Yuan from UQ's Advanced Water Management Centre and involving five research and 11 industry partners, including engineers, microbiologists, material scientists, analytical chemists and mathematical modellers, the team have won the 2014 International Water Association Asia Pacific Regional Project Innovation Award for applied research. While the generation of hydrogen sulphide was known to be a major cause of odour and corrosion, dealing with it was another matter. Which is why engagement and business development manager for the UQ Advanced Water Management Centre, Sandra Hall, said it was necessary to bring “science to the sewers”.

“It was about knowledge generation in the beginning, and understanding the problem,” Dr Hall said. “Once they understood the problem, it was about applying logic and reason and coming up with a solution.“What UQ has also done is develop tools and computer models so that utilities and asset owners can monitor what is happening in their sewers and be able to apply those chemicals that they used to reduce bio films and odour corrosion problems in the right place at the right time, so that it makes the process more efficient, more effective for the asset owner.

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Publication Date: 27April2014

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