Sewer technology brings international honour for UQ-led research team

A research project on radically improving sewer design and management
has won the University of Queensland a prestigious international award in
Portugal. The University of Queensland-led research team’s $21 million project,
Sewer Corrosion and Odour: Putting Science in Sewers is believed to be the
world’s largest sewer-related research program.

The research team was recognised by the International Water
Association in Lisbon with the 2014 Global Project Innovation Award
(Applied Research).

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said
the group’s discoveries already had saved the project’s industry partners
several hundred million dollars by delivering scientific advances as well as
tangible, practical outcomes.

Program leader Professor Zhiguo Yuan from UQ’s Advanced Water
Management Centre said sewerage system corrosion and odour was a huge problem
for water utilities globally. UQ’s research has been able to deliver a
substantial level of new knowledge, highly advantageous tools and innovative
technologies to address these problems.

The five-year research project brought together researchers from five
Australian universities and 11 industry partners, and was supported by
the Australian Research Council. According to Professor Yuan, the ARC
Linkage Program grant was the largest for research in the water industry.

The industry partners in the program collectively provide wastewater services
to about two-thirds of the Australian population. Professor Yuan said the project
will have an enduring impact on the global water industry, thanks to their world-class
engineers, microbiologists, materials scientists, analytical chemists and mathematical
modellers who have developed sustainable solutions to support the
cost-effective management of complex sewer corrosion and odour problems.

The project partners are: The University of New South Wales, The
University of Newcastle, The University of Sydney, Curtin University of
Technology, Sydney Water Corporation, Barwon Region Water Corporation,
CH2MHILL, City of Gold Coast, Hunter Water Corporation, Melbourne Water
Corporation, South Australian Water Corporation, South East Water Limited,
Veolia Water Australia and New Zealand, Water Research Australia Limited, and
Water Corporation Western Australia.