GSP – GVW: Process Control Failure Study (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 – the food bowl of Australia.  Providing these water and sewerage services requires 37 separate water treatment plants for roughly 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.

Process Control Failure Study

This project shall aim to examine major failures in process control in water treatment and wastewater treatment plants. The aim of the study is to better predict areas of failure in the operation of these plants. The project shall involve an extensive review of literature around failures in water and waste water treatment plants and then take existing data from SCADA systems to review and analyse problems and failures. Where are the process interlocks or lack of process controls?


The deliverables of this project will be staged with an initial focus on data collection.

Deliverable Description Initial Timing Estimate
Commencement Workshop Collect Data from GVW (data for 2019-20)

●        Orientation to the project

●        Historical issues re process control and SCADA systems

●        Individual student briefs and research questions


Early March

Milestone 1 Project Plan March
Milestone 2 Some preliminary analysis of Data

·       Evaluation of data


Milestone 3 Progress report. Early June
Milestone 4 Draft Project Report. Early September
Milestone 5 Project Report. End September
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 (Prof. John Mo and Marcos Anastassiou) and through frequent contact with the Project Sponsor ( 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:

Primarily governed by ready access to the relevant SCADA data

 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.

Low data resolution.

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


Water Act 1989


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