A water utility has been recognised for its work in the removal of all Public Health Alerts on drinking water at the Australian Water Association’s Tasmanian awards presentation dinner in Hobart on Thursday 21 November 2019.

TasWater has taken out the Infrastructure Project Innovation Award. The prize acknowledges the level of innovation in the development of infrastructure which enabled TasWater to upgrade all drinking water systems to meet Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) in less than two years.

Under the 24 Glasses and Small Regional Towns Water Supply Programs, TasWater constructed 17 new water treatment plants, 73km of new pipeline, four re-chlorination stations and 16 new reservoirs.

To achieve this, TasWater CEO, Michael Brewster, said TasWater and its industry partners took on a range of new innovative programs to get the job done.

One of these was the construction of water treatment plants in two factory locations in Launceston and Hobart, where national company Trility and Tasmania’s own Stornoway prefabricated the treatment systems and transported them by road for installation on site.

“The removal of all public health alerts around drinking water represents an enduring benefit to community health and to get it done in less than two year shows a significant level of dedication and professionalism by both TasWater and its project partners,” Mr Brewster said.

“It’s great to be recognised by the Australian Water Association.

“Located in small communities, many of these projects are in areas where services are limited and to provide a water supply to residents which match the best in Australia is fantastic.

“The benefit to local communities and economies cannot be underestimated, with good quality infrastructure a key to supporting regional Tasmania.

“Much of the work was carried out in isolated areas which added to the overall challenge of the project. and I thank our TasWater staff, consultants and all our contractors for being part of a team effort.”

Cassandre Tickner-Smith, Environment and Compliance Officer, Tasmanian Irrigation, took out Young Water Professional of the Year. Cassandre is an environmental practitioner who has facilitated continual improvement of Farm Water Access Plans, their development process and auditing method over six years with Tasmanian Irrigation. Combining experience, technical knowledge and practical skills, Tickner-Smith demonstrates how the scientific method can be combined with a collaborative approach to achieve results.

Chris “Thommo” Thompson, Principal Consultant at Macquarie Franklin​, is a well-known character of the water industry. He was awarded the Water Professional of the Year Award and is widely recognised as a blue-sky thinker, leader and mentor who, over a 40-year period, has had significant influence on irrigation development and water management in Australia. He is currently a Principal Consultant at Macquarie Franklin and a Director of Tasmanian Irrigation.

Australian Water Association Chief Executive, Jonathan McKeown, congratulated all finalists and winners for their dedication to the industry and outstanding achievements.

“The Tasmanian Water Awards used to recognise the contribution of the Tasmanian Branch’s youngest water professionals,” Mr McKeown said.

“This year, the awards program was expanded to recognise Tasmania’s exceptional water industry professionals and innovative water infrastructure projects as well.

“This expansion has led to a number of exceptional award entrants, all worthy of recognition.

“On behalf of the Australian Water Association, we would like to congratulate all finalists and winners who embody our purpose to inspire and drive a sustainable water future.”

This year’s Tasmanian Water Award winners will go on to represent the state in the national Australian Water Awards, which will be presented at the Association’s annual water conference and exhibition, Ozwater’20, in Adelaide on 5-7 May 2020.

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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