A large number of non-compliance issues relating to the Gold Coast seawater desalination plant in Queensland, Australia, have been listed in a letter sent on 2 July 2009 by Keith Davies, CEO of WaterSecure, who are taking over the project, to the Queensland Department of Infrastructure & Planning.

Some of the issues have been resolved, some are being resolved and some are still to be resolved, according the document, Summary and commentary on known non-compliance issues and level of compliance with the project brief. The summary was prepared from information in a Level of Compliance report conducted by a selection of industry specialists appointed by SureSmart Water.

The letter says that the plant is currently producing at 33% of its 125,000 m³/d capacity.

“It is anticipated that the plant will be in a position to resume production at 100% capacity in July 2009, should this be required to meet Water Grid instructions,” the letter continues. “WaterSecure will only accept handover of the plant when it is free of major defects or, where it is impractical to rectify a defect, a commercial settlement is in place.”

Legal and insurance remedies are currently being examined the letter concludes.

In the report, the SureSmart team lists as “resolved issues”:

  • Corroded pipe couplings;
  • Leaking pipework on reverse-osmosis (RO) pressure vessels;
  • Potential landfill gas release;
  • Mechanical failure of bolts on valves on the high-pressure side of RO trains;
  • Damage to specially coated bolts;
  • Cartridge filters dislodging under high flow.
  • Issues “currently being resolved” were:

  • Corroded non-return valves;
  • High-grade stainless steel piping corrosion;
  • Excessive vibration in energy-recovery drives;
  • Incorrect quality of high-pressure ball valves.
  • “Issues requiring further investigation/monitoring” are:

  • Tunnel concrete specification;
  • Groundwater intrusion into intake and outlet shafts;
  • Electric motor efficiencies;
  • Damage to glass-lined RO permeate tank;
  • Potable water tank leak;
  • Cracked marine diffuser.
  • Further details are available on the Queensland government website.