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Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade

  • 1.  Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade

    Posted 19 January 2020 16:43
    G'day everyone,

    I'm developing a procurement strategy for a major STP capacity increase where we're looking at roughly doubling the capacity of one of our STP's. However as an engineer (not a project manager) I'm not well versed on all the procurement models out there and how well they fit with these sorts of works.

    If someone's been involved with the delivery of a STP or WTP upgrade in the last several years in the range of say $10-50 million, what kind of procurement process was used and what went well, didn't go so well?

    I'm Interested in all phases from concept design through to construction/operation.

    Please email me or call if you'd rather not comment on the forum.


    Ryan Catling
    Planning and Network Engineer
    Engineering Department – Wide Bay Water & Waste Services
    T 07 4194 7665 | M 04 2319 6935 | E


  • 2.  RE: Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade

    Posted 20 January 2020 20:59
    Hey Ryan

    Paroo Shire Council are in the process of delivering a new STP and smaller than what you will be doing, but might be some learning I can provide.  Will give you a call.

    Peter van Esseveld

    Peter van Esseveld


  • 3.  RE: Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade

    Posted 21 January 2020 21:15
    are you planning on going design and construct or, design consultancy and then seperate construction contract?

    Let me know and i will refer you to the appropriate person(s).
    Adam Doherty
    0437 349 061

  • 4.  RE: Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade

    Posted 22 January 2020 21:39
    Hi Ryan,

    Having been on the receiving end of poor D&C contacts at Sydney Water, I would recommend separation of design and construction. If at all possible.

    The design team will in the planning provide a design that is compatible to your existing infrastructure with provision for growth and additional capacity (hydraulically and electrically)..

    If you go down the D&C path the tenderers will bid low to win the works, that will provide you a low up front price with significantly high operation & maintenance cost for the life of the assets.and major cost for any plant modification going forward (ie no additional room in switchboards or cabling capacity).

    I would highly recommend the construction contractors are held to a set of specifications (many of the larger water corporations have these). With full commissioning documentation including FATs & SATs for their installation, which a Project Engineer would look after.

    The aim is to get a good quality facility at a reasonable cost, a cheap facility would be that cheap (and probably nasty)


    Ian Lee

  • 5.  RE: Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade

    Posted 27 January 2020 16:55
    Any complex construction (WTP included), requires exceptional briefing and design specifications or an agreement with the provider to "get it absolutely right (as you need it)".
    Do not use 'off the shelf specifications', for, as good as they are, they allow for little expertise beyond the normal. Also, don't go down the track of simply in "accordance with relevant Aust Standards". Instead allow consultants and builders to build IAW with the law. Standards are not law, and are in my opinion the lowest standard acceptable to a court when tested at fault of the provided solution. Allow engineers to be expert and bring better than standard behaviour.

    The next issue is the onus on the delivery agent (builder / contractor); I suggest a form of 'fit for purpose' clause in the contractual obligations. That is they are responsible to meet the working outcome of the WTP, and this may include the maintenance provisions.

    Next is procurement; there are a couple of broad forms of DnC, including the managing contractor form (which does include fit for purpose obligations). The Defence MCC is a good example of a two stage MC but is not particularly collaborative, and then there are the NSW governments standard forms which can be applied as MC's.
    You might consider Early Contractor Involvement, taking 2 or 3 experts providers, through to differing phases until their design meets ALL your needs. Be prepared to pay them all for their services - as is appropriate.

    The last and most important thing for a client for any complex constructions are to have real experts in WTP on your team. Someone who really knows the latest materials and methods to assist in the Specification writing and in the observation of the project from its earliest stages.

    Hope this helps a bit...

  • 6.  RE: Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade

    Posted 27 January 2020 16:55
    Thank you Adam and Ian for your responses.

    Adam, your question is essentially what I'm trying to derive with this post.

    Ian, your suggestion and reasoning is the direction we're leaning into. There are positive reasons out there to go D&C and many people I've spoken to have recommended it. However I'm leaning more towards design then construct for many of the same reasons you have listed.