Water Treatment Specialist

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Kerala, , IN

Objective and Purpose of the Assignment

The State of Kerala has been experiencing extreme and prolonged dry weather in the recent times depleting the water resources and affecting the sustainability of drinking water services. There is an immediate need to implement focused climate resilient water services sustainability program founded on the basic principle of demand management through provision of continuous water supply coupled with an effective non-revenue water reduction program. Kerala Water Authority, the pan-state water service provider has prepared preliminary project proposals to ensure climate resilient and sustainable drinking water services in the three cities of Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode herein afterwards referred to as Kerala Urban Water Services Improvement Project (KUWSIP).

The objective of the assignment is to bring the water treatment plants to a condition where they are able to consistently deliver a quality of water equal to or better than the national drinking water quality standard and to include procedures and monitoring systems that assist in achieving this outcome.

Scope of Work

The scope of work embraces the water treatment plants serving the urban water supply systems for the cities of Trivandrum, Kozhikode and Kochi.

The applicable water quality standard is that contained in the Water Supply and Treatment Manual (1999) published by the Central Public Health Engineering and Environmental Organisation of the Government of India and which may be down loaded from the CPHEEO website.

The nomenclature used is as follows:

  • Headworks: from the upstream side of the inlet pump station to the downstream side of the clear water reservoir or break pressure tank
  • Transmission mains: from the downstream side of the clear water reservoir of break pressure tank to the downstream side of a tank or other key location from where the water is sent to properties
  • Distribution mains: from the downstream side of a tank or other key location to the customer properties
  • Property connections: from the upstream side of a connection to a distribution main to the downstream side of a property meter

Each of the three cities is served by several water treatment plants. A schematic of the water supply headworks that supplies each of these towns is currently being prepared and will be made available prior to the commencement of the consultancy.

The water treatment plants use a conventional water treatment process of flocculation, clarification, media filtration and chlorine disinfection. Water is harvested from surface sources with each treatment plant having an inlet pump station. All water treatment plants have an associated clear water tank or break pressure tank from which treated water is sent to the customers via water transmission and distribution pipelines.

The water treatment plants are operational and currently providing sufficient water to meet the urban demand. However, it is questionable whether the plants are consistently delivering the required water quality, are being adequately monitored and are being operated efficiently. In addition, a preliminary inspection has revealed that the plants require some basis maintenance. The consultancy is required to address the treatment process and its associated treatment, control and monitoring systems used by each of the treatment plants. The inlet and outlet pumping stations are within the scope of a separate consultancy which will be undertaken in parallel with this consultancy.

The consultancy comprises three stages as follows.

Stage 1: Water Treatment Plants Condition Assessment and Improvement Program The consultant is to undertake each of the following tasks:

  • Inspect each of the water treatment plant designs
  • Inspect each of the water treatment plant structures
  • Consult with the water treatment plant supervising engineers and treatment plant operators
  • Determine the existing treatment plant hydraulic and treatment capacity
  • For each treatment plant assess the condition of the treatment plant structures and treatment systems
  • For each treatment plant assess the existing treatment plant operating regimes
  • For each treatment plant assess the existing monitoring and automation systems
  • For each treatment plant develop a program which, when implemented, would enable each treatment plant to be efficiently operated to consistently deliver the water treatment plant design capacity to the national water quality standard
  • For each treatment plant develop a program to provide real time monitoring of all treatment plant systems and structures and the automatic control of key treatment plant equipment

Stage 2: Efficient and Reliable Operations and Maintenance of the Water Treatment Plants As the implementation of the water treatment plants improvement program proceeds the consultant is required to undertake each of the following tasks:

  • For each water treatment plant prepare a standard operating procedure
  • For each water treatment plant prepare a safety management plant (to apply to operations and maintenance only)
  • Prepare and deliver a water treatment plant operations and maintenance training program, and test for operator competence

Stage 3: Consistently Delivering Safe Drinking Water to Customer Properties With the water treatment plants upgraded and delivering safe drinking water with the required concentration of free chlorine it will be necessary this transfer this benefit to the customer’s properties . It is desirable to have a chlorine concentration at the customer taps in the range 0.15 mg/l to 3 mg/l. The consultant is therefore required to undertake the following tasks to assist in achieving this outcome:

  • Examine the networks downstream of the respective water treatment plants (please note that these networks will also be subject to an improvement program)
  • Develop a water quality monitoring program for each network
  • By sampling the quality of the water at customer taps determine the effectiveness of the chlorine concentration of the water entering the transmission system
  • Where the desired residual concentration of chlorine is not being achieved either recommend and adjustment to the chlorination rate or the installation of a booster chlorinator

Detailed Tasks and/or Expected Output

Stage 1: A report containing the following:

  • A summary of the work undertaken
  • A recommended improvement program for each treatment plant
  • A recommended real time automation and monitoring system for each water treatment plant
  • A recommended performance monitoring program for each water treatment plant

Stage 2: A report containing the following: 

  • A summary of the work undertaken
  • A standard operating procedure for each water treatment plant
  • The delivery of the operations and maintenance water treatment plant training program
  • A brief report on the outcomes from the delivery of the water treatment plant operations and maintenance training program

Stage 3: A report containing the following:

  • Customer water quality monitoring program
  • Recommended chlorine dosing rates and/or booster chlorinators to maintain chlorine residuals as customer taps


The consultant is initially only commissioned to undertake Stage 1. Stages 2 and/or 3 may be subsequently added dependent upon the outcome from Stage1.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

The specialist will have minimum 15 years of relevant experience in the infrastructure industry in reputed water utilities. The specialist would have extensive working knowledge in developing countries in the water supply, and NRW sectors with a strong understanding of local contracting market and business acumen of potential contractors.