Adelaide headquartered water research and testing laboratory, the Australian Water Quality Centre (AWQC) this month begins water sampling and field testing services for Melbourne Water, after securing a new contract with the Victorian bulk water provider.
The AWQC is a business unit of SA Water which employs around 120 people across its Adelaide and Melbourne facilities and provides a range of expert services to clients within Australia and internationally.
The AWQC’s Senior Manager of Laboratory Services Karen Simpson said the three-year partnership will lead to five new positions and provides its scientists an opportunity to further extend their expertise.
“The new roles will be based in our Melbourne lab, and will be supported by our Adelaide team for some specialist testing and advisory services,” Karen said.
“The partnership with Melbourne Water also enables us to share and build on our collective knowledge and skills, all while helping to ensure high quality water for the communities who ultimately benefit from the supply.
“It’s a very fitting collaboration, as our specific water focus drives a comprehensive service tailored to all aspects of the water cycle and means our team of world-renowned scientists have a deep understanding of and long-term commitment to supporting public health.
“This is evident through our ongoing and highly-valued work with our main client, SA Water, as well as Tasmanian utility TasWater and Wannon Water in south-western Victoria, who we began providing services to in 2017.”
Melbourne Water is responsible for managing water catchments across the greater Melbourne region, which it then supplies to a range of retail water utilities, councils, school and community groups, land developers and businesses.
“We will be taking daily samples from a combined total of around 207 sample locations including dams, reservoirs, weirs, creeks, tanks and water treatment plants, as well as targeted points within the local pipe network,” Karen said.
“We already carry out some laboratory testing for Melbourne Water, but this is the first time the AWQC will be performing field sampling services in Victoria, and really paves the way for more potential water utility partnerships in other parts of the state.
“Our Melbourne lab team will carry out both routine and project-based water testing and provide detailed and timely analyses of our findings.
“The AWQC Melbourne lab was established in early 2016 in response to demand from local customers, and we’re excited to continue growing its capabilities.
“This includes through the hands-on training in bacteriology and chemistry we offer to several Melbourne universities. This initiative has resulted in the full-time employment within our local lab of three students who completed internships there during the past few years.”
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