Sydney Water Corporation Delivery Management

In-house team helps reduce commercial risk and deliver strong community, environmental and safety outcomes


Program: SWC Delivery Management

Value: $100 million per annum

Duration: 5 years

Services: Program and project management, Project scoping and investment strategy, Engineering design and delivery support, Asset management, Digital engineering, Asset data acquisition

Delivering more efficient, cost-effective solutions for Sydney Water

Key takeouts

  • Average annual cost savings of $3.9 million a year across the program lifetime.
  • Standardisation of assets, providing ongoing cost reduction, efficiency savings and safety improvements throughout future upgrade programs
  • Embedded digital engineering techniques into standard workflow for all projects

The project

Delivery management for vast infrastructure network

The sheer scale of Sydney’s water infrastructure, coupled with rapid population growth, presents a complex set of challenges for the water utility responsible for maintaining it. To give an idea of the scale, Sydney has 29 treatment plants, along with 580 pump stations. Adding an extra layer of complexity, many sites are heritage listed.

To maintain this vast network of water infrastructure requires a continuous program of upgrades and enhancement works.

Oversight for the program lies with Sydney Water Liveable City Solutions, Delivery Management team, who are tasked with the safe, efficient and effective delivery of the $500m per year Infrastructure Capital Works Program.

Holistic approach reduces commercial risk, delivers more sustainable customer outcomes

To deliver more efficient and cost-effective solutions for Sydney Water customers, Atlas Engineering has embedded a team of specialists within Delivery Management to act as in-house technical support and subject matter experts.

Atlas senior mechanical engineer and team lead Peter Haylock says the in-house team brings a high level of construction-based experience and practical knowledge to benefit Sydney Water’s customers.

“Having a dedicated team in-house ensures we can pivot quickly between multiple projects as needs arise, work across multiple locations, and be nimble in our response times,” he says. “The client never has to hear the dreaded, ‘we’re only contracted to do this part’.”

Cost savings exceed engagement costs

Under the program of work, Atlas has successfully completed numerous projects & sub-programs over the course of the contract, across all stages of the infrastructure lifecycle.

This work includes:

  • Development of business cases and board papers.
  • Advising on procurement and investment strategy for a broad range of engineering projects.
  • Project management support and design management of utility upgrades, including engaging and managing relevant consultants and contractors.
  • Design of a broad range of water and wastewater treatment technologies, including pump stations, chemical dosing systems, dewatering and ventilation systems and more.
  • Asset management advice to extend the life cycle and improve the output of existing assets.
  • Application of digital engineering techniques including LIDAR laser measurement, point cloud scanning, 3D and 4D building information modelling (BIM), VR & AR walkthroughs and data visualisation, to gather accurate information on legacy assets, accelerate project timelines and reduce costs.
  • Commissioning of various technologies including chemical dosing systems for water treatment, potable and wastewater treatment technologies, high-volume wet chemical air scrubbers.
  • Site based mechanical construction and installation support.
The total savings achieved for Sydney Water are in the vicinity of $12M to date, exceeding the cost of engaging Atlas to deliver this work.

“The total savings… exceed the cost of engaging Atlas to do this work.”

Daryl Gilchrist, design and engineering manager, Delivery Management, Sydney Water says the Atlas team are receptive, committed and stable.

“I can approach and ask these guys any engineering or design question because they are receptive,” Gilchrist says.

“They have the right experience and energy around finding a solution, and finding the right solution. I’ll throw something up that they can help with, and they are very obliging.” 

Total savings for Sydney Water to date are in the vicinity of $12M

“They have the right experience and energy around finding a solution, and finding the right solution.”

Standardisation of technology leads to cost savings

A major aspect of the work involves developing specifications that Sydney Water can then deploy as standard requirements for the use of that technology. This has significant cost-saving benefits, enabling Sydney Water to expand its pool of suppliers and procure a first-class product for a competitive price.

Atlas is working with SWC to assist in the creation of a suite of new and updated standards, including the design standardisation of chemical dosing units, wastewater treatment plant digester covers and waste gas burner standardisation. This has yielded significant savings for Sydney Water on both equipment costs and the ongoing efficiency of project delivery, operations and maintenance.

Additionally, the unique delivery model means the knowledge gained from one project can positively influence the future direction of other projects, resulting in greater overall efficiency and reduced costs.

“Knowledge gained doesn’t disappear after a single engagement,” Haylock says. “Our team understands how every piece of work we do fits into the broader context for Sydney Water and actively works to achieve greater efficiencies across the board. In FY18 we have produced savings of around $4m on our package of works. That simply wouldn’t be possible if our team wasn’t so stable and integrated within Sydney Water.”

“In FY18 we have produced savings of $4m on our package of works.”

To improve collaboration between project stakeholders and reduce risk, time and expense, Atlas has integrated the latest digital engineering technology into its standard workflows.

The benefits, which have been seen across the program, have led to safety improvements, increased efficiency and reduced duplication of effort and minimised operational disruptions through clear cutover planning and processes.

Digital engineering improves collaboration and reduces risk and expense

“Our team is committed to using emerging technology in a way that adds value for the end user. We’re lucky in that we’re a relatively nimble organisation, which facilitates our ability to trial this emergent technology. You then see those technologies being used more and more regularly by the supply chain as a whole, delivering benefits across the board. That’s great, because the savings of a small initiative or trial can often translate into an efficiency or safety improvement that directly impacts the end customer.”
Scott Rudram, Atlas Engineering Group, General Manager

Want to know more about this program of work? Speak to a member of the Atlas team.