Monday, September 30, 2013

Alice Springs’ new recycled water scheme ready for testing

New water recycling facilities have been commissioned in Alice Springs this week and will undergo three months of testing before the water is supplied to businesses and institutions south of Heavitree Gap.

 As part of the Alice Water Smart Reuse Project, the new treatment processes at the Alice Springs wastewater plant will improve the quality of recycled water available.

 Around ten large businesses and institutions south of The Gap will use the water for irrigation and horticultural purposes, such as watering gardens at caravan parks and the cemetery, as well as road and civil construction works.

 “It will save around 220 million litres of the drinking water that is currently used for these purposes each year. That’s equivalent to 100 Olympic sized swimming pools”, says Alice Water Smart Project Manager Les Seddon.

The new facilities include an architecturally designed building to house gravity filters and UV reactors, as well as 3.5km of new network distribution pipe and an additional 2.5 Megalitre storage tank.

 As part of the three-month testing period, Power and Water Corporation and the Department of Health will carry out a series of validation checks to ensure the system is robust.

 "Along with water quality testing, we’ll be monitoring how the system works under various operational conditions, such as when there is peak demand or low water levels in the tanks.”

 “We are currently in discussions with businesses and institutions south of the Gap about how they can access the scheme and we look forward to that first turn of the tap.”

 95 tonnes of special sand media has been brought in from NSW for use in the system’s new gravity filters; which has some irony for a place that is surrounded by sand.”

 "The certified sand has a high quartz content, so it is quite strong and won’t break down into powder form to clog the system. The sand grains are uniform in size to allow wastewater to filter through, and small enough to pick up tiny solid particles along the way.”

 After the sewerage has travelled through several wastewater ponds over a 70-day period, the recycling process takes about one hour, which includes the following five steps:

 Acid and coagulant is added to a reactor tank to modfy pH and bind fine solids together

Waste water enters a Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) tank to inject air and allow solid particles to float to the top (which are scraped off and sent to waste)

Partially treated water enters the new gravity media (sand) filters to remove more solid particles and further improve quality

Pumps push the water through 80 high intensity UV lamps to disinfect pathogens (disease forming bacteria)

Recycled water is then injected with chlorine and stored in two 2.5 megalitre storage tanks, from where it is accessed by the end user.

 Testing is expected to be complete by mid December and will be available for customers straight away.

 Alice Water Smart is supported by the Australian Government.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Residents move into Zuccoli

While residential construction continues at Zuccoli its first residents have moved in.

A handful of Territorians now call the Palmerston East suburb home after the finishing touches on their houses were recently completed.

They are the first of more than 6000 people who will live in master planned community, which is fringed by bushland and adjacent to the Stuart Highway and Lambrick Avenue. 

Urbex, in partnership with the Land Development Corporation, developed Stage 1 of the neighbourhood and spent more than $6 million on the installation of electrical, sewage, water and telecommunications networks.

Urbex General Manager Wayne Rex said it was a momentous day for the project and for the joint venture partners Urbex and the Land Development Corporation.. 

“Our team has worked diligently with the government and local builders to keep the project on track and on target,” Mr Rex said.

“We are passionate about what we do and committed to building communities that are affordable and maintain the Territory way of life.

“Zuccoli has been designed for life with flexibility, diversity and room for growth and it’s wonderful to see residents moving in and fulfilling the joint ventures’ vision of urban development in the Territory.”

Miriam Smith and her partner Chris Ryan are one of the first Territory families to call Zuccoli home after purchasing land in December last year.
They rented in Moulden to save for a deposit and haven’t looked back since moving into their new address, built by Vanguard Homes, last week.

“It was the best decision we’ve ever made,” Ms Smith said.

“I love the area and at night time it’s so peaceful and there’s lots of nature sounds.

“It (Zuccoli) has a semi-rural feeling with the surrounding bush, and it’s great having the parks so close by for my girls and our dogs.”
Zuccoli features lots ranging in size from 577 sqm to more than 1000 sqm, a variety of cycling and walking paths, and easy access to the amenities of Palmerston and Coolalinga.
More than 30 per cent of Stage 1 has been dedicated to parks and conservation with Mitchell Creek and the 17 Mile Camp WWII Heritage Trail on its doorstep.

Large lots are currently available at Zuccoli and residents looking to buy land are encouraged to visit the Urbex Realty, Sales and Information Centre at 18 Cavenagh Street, Darwin.

For more information visit

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sex abuse victims told to seek support

Territorians affected by childhood sexual abuse are encouraged to connect with Relationships Australia NT ahead of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses in Child Sexual Abuse, which comes to Darwin on Tuesday 15 October for the first round of private hearings.

The Commission, which started in Western Australia last month and held the first public hearing was in Sydney this week, will be in town to hear from victims and survivors in private sessions over several days.

 Relationships Australia NT CEO Marie Morrison said the organisation can support anyone who has experienced institutional childhood sexual abuse including people who wish to share their story with the Commission.

“It can be a very emotional, challenging and confronting experience for people to talk about what happened to them,” Ms Morrison said.

“We have been counselling in the Territory for 40 years and worked with many people affected by childhood sexual abuse and abuse experienced in a variety of intuitional settings.  

“Our counsellors are available to help victims explore and collate their story, provide referrals where appropriate and in addition we can provide appropriate liaison through our Aboriginal advisors.”

During the private sessions, people will have one hour to present their story to one or two commissioners in a confidential and informal setting.

Ms Morrison said a high number of those sexually abused as children in the Northern Territory are Aboriginal and/or living in remote Territory communities.

“Where appropriate our Indigenous advisors, cultural consultants and Aboriginal family workers assist in connecting counsellors with victims,” she said.

“On the Tiwi Islands alone, including Nguiu, Milikapiti and Pirlingimpi, we have a qualified counsellor and three Aboriginal staff who will help those who were abused in coming forward to give evidence.”

Relationships Australia NT was awarded $650 000 in funding over the next three years by the federal government to support survivors of childhood sexual abuse that will take part in the Commission.

It was the only support service for victims presenting at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses in Child Sexual Abuse to be funded in the Northern Territory.

“Our staff will be there for people before, during and after the Commission,” Ms Morrison said.

Territorians who want to present their story to the Commission are required to register their interest via  but Ms Morrison said her staff can help victims through this process.

To contact Relationships Australia NT for more information or support please visit or call 1300 364 277.


Thursday, September 05, 2013

TIO partners with CareFlight to support rescue helicopter

TIO and CareFlight have announced a partnership to support a life-saving community service in Darwin today.
TIO will sponsor CareFlight’s Darwin based Rescue Helicopter for a minimum of three years.
TIO Chief Executive Richard Harding said the cost of road trauma in the Territory is more than triple the national average and rapid response was key to survival and to minimise injury.
“Evidence shows the severity of injury can be lessened by reducing the time it takes emergency medical services to start treating injured people,” Mr Harding said.
“Rapid medical intervention, particularly for people with internal, spinal or head injuries, can save lives and reduce the risk of catastrophic and permanent impairment.
“CareFlight’s rapid response capability supports TIO’s goal for personal injury management and improving health outcomes.
“The work they do further supports our understanding of the unique challenges created by great distance and remoteness for communities in the Top End.”
Mr Harding said TIO already made a significant investment in road safety awareness and behavioural change programs and the new partnership would complement this work.
“We see this partnership as a way to support the needs of Territorians which will ultimately deliver benefits to the wider motor accidents compensation scheme,” Mr Harding said.
CareFlight Chief Executive Officer Derek Colenbrander said TIO’s sponsorship of the rescue helicopter would help meet the running costs of the rapid-response helicopter service which forms part of the Top End Medical Retrieval Service which CareFlight operates for the NT Health Department.
Mr Colenbrander said the partnership will enable TIO and CareFlight to coordinate with the broader “road trauma” sector to improve outcomes for people involved in motor vehicle crashes.
“The helicopter is an integral component of our charity’s aeromedical service as it allows our flight nurses and doctors to respond direct to motor vehicle crashes and other trauma patients,” Mr Colenbrander said.
“Patients can be stabilised by our medical team working with health clinic nurses and St John Ambulance officers then given intensive care treatment as they are flown direct to Royal Darwin Hospital.”
The helicopter will now be known as the CareFlight TIO Rescue Helicopter.