Dr David de Haas has over thirty years’ experience in municipal water and wastewater treatment, covering laboratory investigations, use of pilot plants, research and development, process design and operation, planning and advisory functions. He has worked in wastewater-related consultancy with GHD in Australia for more than seventeen years.
In his early career, David worked as an applied scientist in biotechnology and water quality programmes in South Africa. He gained eight years of practical wastewater treatment experience as senior scientist with a leading water utility in South Africa that operated a wide range of wastewater treatment plants. He went on to complete his PhD through the University of Cape Town, which is well recognised internationally for wastewater treatment process engineering.
David has worked on a number of wastewater-related projects in Australia, focusing on planning requirements and process design for treatment plant upgrades and new plants. His experience includes process design, commissioning and optimisation for the upgrade of several wastewater treatment plants (ranging in size from approximately 2000 to 600,000 person equivalents) that achieve advanced nutrient removal. He was led or contributed to planning studies and concept designs for more than twenty wastewater treatment plants, mainly in Australia.
David has strong specialist skills in use of wastewater treatment models such as the Biowin™ simulation package. He has previously taught IWES training courses in advanced biological treatment, nutrient removal and energy efficiency in wastewater systems.
David has undertaken research projects focusing on greenhouse gas emissions from wastewater treatment plants in Australia and has experience in greenhouse gas accounting. He has also participated in research projects through the University of Queensland into Life Cycle Impact Assessment of alternative urban water cycle systems, including water recycling and desalination options. He has led studies on sustainability for projects funded through the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, in collaboration with the University of New South Wales and a range of other industry partners. On behalf of WSAA, he has led two studies for industry benchmarking of energy use in wastewater treatment plants. The first round was in 2013-14 and covered 142 plants in Australia. The second round, in 2016-17, covered a larger number of plants (245) in both Australia and New Zealand. He also regularly helps clients with plant reviews of energy use, aimed at improving efficiency, maximising capacity and minimising cost.