GSP – GVW: Efficiency of Pumps in the Goulburn Valley Water Network

GSP – GVW: Efficiency of Pumps in the Goulburn Valley Water Network


Goulburn Valley Water (GVW) provides water and sewerage services to approximately 130,000 people in 54 cities, towns and villages across more than 20,000 square kilometres in northern Victoria.  GVW also provides water and sewerage services to a large and diverse food manufacturing industry in the Goulburn Valley – also know as the food bowl of Australia.  Providing these water and sewerage services requires 37 separate water treatment plants for approximatley 59,000 properties across 54 towns, 26 wastewater management facilities for approximately 50,700 properties across 30 towns and 1,800 kilometre of buried water mains and sewers.

These 63 geographically dispersed water and wastewater systems are a defining feature of the operating environment of GVW, which has a major influence on the capital investment program, operational costs and customer service response times.

Provision of high quality water and trade waste services to food processing industries is a major business focus due to their individual impact on Goulburn Valley Water’s systems.

The geographic area of Goulburn Valley Water comprises the local government areas of:

  • Shire of Moira;
  • Shire of Campaspe;
  • City of Greater Shepparton;
  • Shire of Mansfield;
  • Shire of Mitchell;
  • Shire of Murrindindi; and
  • Shire of Strathbogie.

The main activities undertaken by Goulburn Valley Water are:

  • Harvesting and treatment of raw water;
  • Planning and management of headworks;
  • Reticulation of treated water to customers;
  • Collection and transportation of wastewater including trade waste;
  • Treatment and beneficial re-use of recycled water;
  • Beneficial recycling of wastewater treatment by-products such as biosolids and biogas;
  • Development and implementation of programs for the conservation and efficient use of water;
  • Planning with communities for their future water and wastewater services;
  • Community education about sustainable water management.

Goulburn Valley Water provides a range of services defined as Prescribed Services and Declared Services (regulated services) in clause 7 of the Water Industry Regulatory Order 2014 in respect of which the ESC has the power to regulate price standards and conditions of service and supply.

The regulated services provided by Goulburn Valley Water are as follows:

  • Retail water services;
  • Retail recycled water services;
  • Retail sewerage services;
  • Storage operator and bulk water services;
  • Bulk sewerage services
  • Bulk recycled water services;
  • Connection services;
  • Services to which developer charges apply;
  • Trade waste services.

Goulburn Valley Water does not provide drainage services (stormwater), irrigation services and irrigation drainage services.


The focus of this project is to evaluate the efficiency of pumps in the network with respect to different types of starting mechanism for the pumps. Specifically to compare variable speed drives (VSD) modulating frequency, energy efficiency drops versus the reliability of these drives.  Then compare soft starters (SS) – like a solenoid switch efficiency – soft start-ups with VSD’s and examine the reliability of these devices. Compare VSD’s with soft starters to see if they can have the same functionality. Benchmarks cost of VSD versus soft starters and useability and reliability of VSD’s versus SS. The project shall involve a literature review, gathering data from other water authorities about SS and VSD’s.

  • An assessment of the costs associated with various pumps and use of different drives, their reliability, efficacy and energy efficiency
  • An investigation of historical energy use of these pumps in various locations in the network


The deliverables of this project will be staged with an initial focus on data collection. This will enable higher accuracy in surveys, allowing final recommendations to be made with confidence.

Deliverable Description Initial Timing Estimate
Project Plan Project Plan Feb-March
Milestone 1 Data collection of:

●      Historical energy use of pumps in the network

●      Historical energy use by GVW including peak usage.

●      Real dollar cost and efficiency of  existing pump network


End April
Milestone 2 Collation of all data and an initial assessment of pump efficiency in the network Mid May
Progress Report Progress report. Early June
Milestone 3 A survey of the financial benefits that could be achieved by using more efficient pumping systems in the network Early July
Draft Project Report Draft Project Report. Early September
Project Report Project Report. End September
Presentation A presentation on the project report. End October


This project will be managed through weekly meetings of the students whom will seek draft approval from the Project Managers (Marcos Anastassiou & Professor John Mo) and through frequent contact with the Project Sponsor (Mr Michael Welk) to ensure work is satisfactory.

Reporting Requirements:

There will be draft approval and/or progress reporting fortnightly to the project managers.

Assumptions and Constraints:

Power usage from infrastructure across GVW  network is expected to be available, as well as data on costs associated with the network and SCADA systems.

 Risks and Minimisation Strategies:

Incomplete data collection resulting in inaccurate recommendations.

  • This will be minimised by collecting as much data as possible from as many sources as possible.

Data loss has potential to significantly hinder the project.

  • This will be mitigated by keeping multiple backups of the data, updated weekly.

Low data resolution.

  • The highest resolution data available will be sourced to ensure accuracy
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