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Other Information 2012


Mid Coast Water Utility Australia Twinning with Tonga Water Board

Our experience in our small Australian utility is that a 'design and build' contract can result in tenders where the construction contractor dominates on price and good design is often sacrificed. Our utility likes separate design, separate build as the designer is under less pressure to provide the cheapest result and rather find the right result. However, you do need to know what you want to inform the designer. The exception is small items such as skid mounted chemical dosing or filtration, where we think that a design and supply arrangement is fine.

Brendan Guinea, Executive Manager


American Samoa Water/Power Authority

We rarely use Design & Build as there are usually too many variables to manage.

Utu Abe Malae, CEO


Hunter Water Utility, Australia twinning with Water Authority of Fiji

In Australia, best practice in project procurement is achieved through first getting a good understanding of your objectives and the situation prevailing. The various project delivery methods (design and then build, early constructor involvement with design and build, design-build, build-own-operate etc) are then ranked as each project delivery method involves different risks and costs. A big consideration in the islands will be local factors relating to access, the level of competition, ongoing maintenance, quality of build etc)

James Keary, CEO


Palau Public Utilities Corporation

In general, Design/Build is an excellent method of engineering and construction procurement methodology especially when the scope of work is relatively clear, simple and no major unexpected circumstances are anticipated during the course of the project. During the planning and pre-design stage of the project, an agency should conducts relevant investigative studies or reports to provide important data for the agency to prepare a Basis of Design Report which spells out in relative detail the scope of the design and construction work of the project including relevant design criteria and parameters, applicable specifications and estimated cost of the project. At which time, the agency can make an informed decision to pursue or not the Design Build method of procurement for a specific project.

Without a clear design/construction scope (preliminary design) of work and other relevant information stated above, you will receive proposals with wide ranging in scope and costs and you will have no basis or criteria to evaluate and make selection of which proposal might meet your requirements the best.

Without the Basis of Design document, proposers of a design build project will have a tendency to over-design and over-estimate to make up for possible  unforeseen circumstances in the design and during the construction. In general, this tends to be the cause for design build projects cost proposal to be much higher than the conventional engineering and construction procurement method.

Kione Isechal, CEO


Woods Pacific Ltd. New Zealand

The design build philosophy is a good one, provided that it is well thought out before going ahead. If not it has the capacity to be costly for the client and the net result will be bitter for everyone concerned.

The normal procedure is for the client to engage a consultant team to carry out the initial design through to the 50-60% stage. This means that there is sufficient detail in the design to allow a contractor to price it and minimise the risk in his pricing. At the award of tender to the successful contractor the design team is then novated across to the contractor and they complete the design. The design team then also carry out the site observation and issuance of As Built drawings etc. on behalf of the contractor.

The benefit is a shorter time scale to complete the project, with the client having a very clear idea from early on of what he is going to get. The contractor benefits from having the same team complete the job and the risk of a blow out in variations is minimised.

Downsides are the design team not willing to be novated across to the contractor, particularly is there is a history there from previous contracts. A new design team then has to be found to pick up from where the others left off. Any fundamental change in design philosophy can cause a problem for all parties and the risk of cost escalations.

Jack Out, Regional Manager


Pacific Utility Member Profile: Water PNG

Water PNG is a State Owned Enterprise responsible for the provision of safe and sustainable water and sanitation services throughout Papua New Guinea.

Water PNG operates 19 declared Water and Sewerage Districts throughout the country. The total urban population served by WaterPNG is about 300,000, which represents less than 6% of the total population of the nation. The small urban population8, however, represents significant cash economy, in order to ensure financial health and sustainability.

Water PNG operated in major towns where operations are commercially viable and cost recovery is possible. Operations are adversely impacted by landowner interruptions, security concerns, and staff harassment. In small urban centers, operational environment is characterized by small markets, high unit costs, small capacities, and geographical remoteness.

Water PNG operates full sewerage systems in Lae and Mt. Hagen and limited systems in other urban centers. The provision of sewerage services in the urban centers requires a relatively high capital investment, but the rate of return on these investments is low resulting low investment in sanitation services. There are plans for sanitation development and Water PNG continues to seek financing for the sanitation development.

Water PNG became members of the PWWA in 2008. 

For further information please refer to website

New Allied Member - Pump Systems

The solids pumping and tank mixing specialists

Established in 1984, Pump Systems Ltd is one of Australia and New Zealand's leading suppliers of solids handling pumps and tank mixing systems for the combined municipal and industrial sectors.

As the authorised distributor for Vaughan Chopper Pumps and Rotamix Process Mixing Systems, Pump Systems has solved countless solids pumping and mixing problems for applications where standard "non-clog" impeller pumps and generic mixers fail due to heavy loadings of solids in wastewater and sludge.

Pump Systems also specialises in the design and supply of non-clog sludge heat exchangers, high efficiency rotary drum screens, sludge presses, grit classifiers, solids handling rotary lobe pumps, vortex pumps and high performance valves.

Pump Systems is a new member for PWWA and we would like to take this opportunity to welcome them on board. We look forward to working with them.

For more information on Pump Systems and its unique product range, visit and

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