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Goulburn Valley Water

How to restore a fire damaged water treatment plant in five days…

Shepparton, VIC

On 7th February 2009, fires raged throughout Victoria, representing one of the worst natural disasters to occur in Australia. Among the damage was the building that housed the electrical switchgear and control equipment, the dosing systems and the laboratory of Goulburn Valley Water’s (GVW) Kilmore Water Treatment Plant, which provides water almost 7,000 people in the towns of Kilmore, Heathcote-Junction and Wandong.

The majority of the filter equipment was largely undamaged and the field device cabling was in tact up to its entry into the plant building. The solution would rely on restoring the dosing systems (vital organs) and the electrical switchgear and control system (brains). This would need to be completed in five days – not a trivial task given these components of water treatment plants can take many months when part larger treatment plant projects.

The basis for a solution was arrived at on-site during the initial investigation. The corporation’s Operations IT team would use a shipping container to house a temporary control room. The corporation’s South West Operations team in conjunction with GVW water treatment specialists would arrange for the replacement of the dosing systems. A large diesel generator would also be required to power the site until permanent mains supply was restored. Finally local electrical contractors were employed to investigate, label and get the existing field cabling ready to be connected to the new control room while it was being built.

An advantage in the process was that drawings for the new DAF plant, and backups of the PLC program and CitectSCADA project were available.

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