Company: Melbourne Water
Position: Civil Asset Engineer
What does your role entail and what does your company do?
I work for Water and Strategic Asset Management which is part of Melbourne Water’s Asset Management Services group. Melbourne Water is the so called ‘wholesale provider’ of drinking water for Melbourne, providing drinking water via the retail water companies to the end customer through a vast system of reservoirs, treatment plants and pipes. My team has the important role of setting the framework and managing the civil aspects of these major pieces of infrastructure, namely the major dams, smaller reservoirs, treatment plants and around 1,000 km of large diameter pipes.
What has been your favourite corrosion project that you have worked on and why?
Through working for Melbourne Water I enjoy learning about the assets that have shaped the city of Melbourne and gaining an insight into its history and development. One of the projects I have recently been taking part in involves developing a strategy for managing one of our steel mains, the Yan Yean-Epping main, which feeds water between Yan Yean and Preston Reservoir. It is a 1350/1700mm diameter mild steel main coated with coal tar enamel, and runs over 14km long. It has been interesting to discover the history of this main, which was installed within the original bluestone aqueduct along with the corrosion related issues (mechanical damage of external coating, shielding from cathodic protection systems later installed) that this practice created. I am now in the process of trialing selected coating systems to evaluate constructability and performance, which will inform parts of the rehabilitation solution for the main.
What are the important corrosion related issues facing industry/your business today?
To my mind, one of the most serious problems facing the industry is the long term impact of most forms of corrosion in direct contrast with today’s fast paced environment and quick turnover of ideas, people, solutions, businesses. I think we will continue to be challenged into appropriate industry skilling, industry practices and regulatory frameworks to match the large scale cost to overall economies of preventable corrosion.
Why are you a member of the ACA?
The ACA provides me with a point of reference for industry best practice as well as comparing practices with other industries. Recently I have been participating in an Asset Owners Committee which allows me to exchange points of view on topics of mutual concern with colleagues of other industries. I also value the high standard of the training that the ACA provides.