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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Aqwest/Bunbury Water Board
Cleaner Production
- Water Treatment Processes

Aqwest-Bunbury Water Board has introduced a range of cleaner production measures designed to improve the overall efficiency of its water treatment plants.


Aqwest, the operating arm of the Bunbury Water Board, supplies water to approximately 12,000 service connections for the 30,000 residents of the town of Bunbury, Western Australia, 180km south of Perth.

Aqwest operates seven water treatment plants, associated bores and high level booster pumps. Its main activities are water treatment and water distribution.

It has a turnover of $5.1 million and a workforce of 27.

Cleaner Production Initiatives

Cleaner production initiatives introduced since the early 1980s have included:

Dyna sand filters

Continuous backwash, water efficient Dyna Sand Filters

Advantages of the Process

The integration of water sources, storage and point of supply systems with the mains reticulation system, has improved operational efficiencies and plant utilisation.

The hydraulic performance (or energy required to move water) of individual treatment plants has been improved, and energy costs reduced as a consequence.

The measures have allowed greater utilisation of Aqwest's more efficient plant, and reduced the need to operate older less efficient plant. In addition, a substantial increase in the efficiency of booster pump stations has been achieved, through the rationalisation of pump stations into four sites, and the installation of devices designed to match water demand and pumping operations. Booster pump station energy savings of 75 percent have been achieved from this measure alone.

Energy efficient variable speed drive pumps

Energy efficient variable speed drive pumps

The installation of the new booster pump stations has obviated the need for four new high level water towers, with savings of $2.2 million. In conjunction with various other Aqwest initiatives, including time of use tariffs, energy consumption and energy costs have been reduced by 13.5 percent and 24.5 percent respectively.

Better overall control and monitoring of the system has resulted in improved water supply quality and service.

Cleaner Production Incentive

Since electricity is Aqwest's biggest fixed cost, there is a strong incentive to achieve reductions.

However, the pressures associated with the State-wide water industry reforms instigated in 1983, were essentially responsible for the major changes made since then in the Board's water treatment and distribution process.

The Board was allowed to remain independent, subject to improved performance at the technical level and new directions being taken in strategic management.

A concerted program of efficiency measures was progressively put in place through a process of internal reform covering all aspects of operations.

There is strong continuing incentive within Aqwest to achieve best practice and position the organisation strategically against future competitors.


There were no major barriers once the challenge to retain independence from State-wide single authority initiatives implemented in 1983 was taken up and actively pursued.

There was strong community support for independence; the Board was allowed to increase water charges; and new development charges were introduced to fund headworks infrastructure ie the equipment required to extract, store and treat water, and deliver it to trunk pipelines.

Further Developments

Aqwest has continued to benefit from these initiatives. 

Project work is continuing and  includes ongoing monitoring of energy management practices. 

New options are always being investigated, for example solar-powered water treatment plants and pumps.


Mr Geoff Oddy
Chief Executive Officer
Aqwest-Bunbury Water Board
PO Box 400
Ph: 61 8 9780 9507
Fax: 61 8 9780 9509.

Date of implementation: 1983-96
Date of further initiatives:  Ongoing.
Case study prepared April 1998: co ordinated by the Environment Management Industry Association of Australia (EMIAA). 
Date last modified: May 2001.
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