- To: SLUG <slug@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: [SLUG] Can open source GRASS 5, PHP/ PostgreSQL, ect. cut the crap?
- From: sunnyside <irvin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon Oct 21 23:39:02 2002
- Cc: Nicholas <nhannah@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Hugo Connery <hugonautical@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Reply-to: irvin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
This is a first post so go easy OK?
I am a linux novice and previously a non-posting reader of this
group (thank-you). I am interested in discussion about wider adoption
of open source 'computer' operating systems and softwares,
particularly for skill development in schools and for better access
to community governance information. I work for the gov'ment so my
views may be suspect, but I think better understanding of the ways
of gov'ment would help us achieve and foster a civil society in
australia that shares some qualities of the open source knowledge
movement. That is, one that loves freedom with a door splitting
passion (go samba!!) and cares as well for the least as for the
great (go open source!!).
For my sins (don't ask!) I work on the nsw gov'ment's septic safe
program, something like a modern dunny cart man, a sanitarian, and
the link with open source software is a long story, so if neither
the question nor the subject is of interest to you, cheerio!
The purpose of my post is to invite comments on the topic, that is,
can open source operating systems and softwares provide a suitable
platform for simple (e.g. council and community based)
environmental management information systems. For the more intrepid
reader here's some background to my interest in the topic, (sorry,
The NSW Department of Local Government (my current employer)
recently commenced Stage 2 of its Septic Safe program with a full
scale regional trial of an on-site sewage risk assessment system
(OSRAS) to be conducted in partnership with State Government
agencies and 18 councils in the Hawkesbury Lower Nepean River Basin.
The model On-site Sewage Risk Assessment System (OSRAS) is a
software neutral [i.e. open source friendly] management information
system intended to help river health and drainage basin managers
assess and monitor the impact of sewage effluent from private
sewage and grey-water facilities. The OSRAS is intended to be used
as an aid for assessing likely sewage pollution risks and for
modelling community sanitary service needs. Spatially referenced
natural resource management and infrastructure data are compiled in
a GIS to generate standardised sewage export hazard maps for
premises and 'risk of impact' estimates for effluent accumulation
and concentration at identified receptor points.
The model OSRAS aims to provide the basic sanitation services
focus required for broad scale systematic sanitation risk
assessment by councils and communities. The OSRAS will complement
other scientific catchment load measurement models and development
assessment information systems as they become available. [mostly
The purpose of the HLN_OSRAS regional pilot project is to assess and
specify the extent of sanitation risks associated with the estimated
45,000 septic systems currently in use in the Hawkesbury Lower
Nepean River Basin (below the main water supply impoundment for
greater Sydney) so that limited community resources can be directed
to the areas of highest risk for priority action.
The request for tenders for a consultancy to pilot the OSRAS
methodology in the Hawkesbury Nepean River Basin was published in
the NSW Government Tender Announcements, Sydney Morning Herald,
Monday 14th October, 2002 (RFT 0202281). The tender brief and
details are available from the NSW Dept. Public Works & Services
web site (tenders menu button) http://www.dpws.nsw.gov.au/Home.htm
until 30 October, 2002 (check the site).
A primary objective is to enable councils to achieve a degree of
real time risk reporting (i.e. annually) about community sewage
management outcomes (a bit like beachwatch). A practical,
affordable approach is needed. The project is a pilot. The aim is
to trial a regional council/ community access information system
and generate a trial sanitation risk assessment to learn as much as
possible about how to it sensitively, accurately, affordably and
well. There is a low budget of $350,000 but this excludes the cost
of acquiring data usage rights and some processing costs (see brief).
The project has an educational element and includes development of
user guides for the pilot system and some consideration of means to
establish technical training (e.g. local government vocational
courses) and means to ensure community access and public accountability.There
is a Workshop for the project participants and interested
tenderers on Thursday, 24th October, 2002 at Bankstown. Registration
details are in the tender docs.
Being a bit interested in the capability of open source operating
systems and software to provide a cost effective, readily scalable
platform for an OSRAS system I had a quick look about the internet
and found some useful open source tools available (see topic), but
then, I am a linux novice and a sanitarian. I am not computer
literate (at least I have to rely on a lot of help) I am not a GIS
specialist, and I know barely nothing about vi and emacs.
But the tender brief does seem to allow an open source approach and
I hope that may be of interest to some readers.
Is this a genuine opportunity for a public tender bid from an open
source consortium? (Are there any?) Can the austrailan open source
community/ industry present a practical affordable strategy and are
suitably qualified people interested and available?
This is a public tender process so anyone interested should know the
answer some time in November.
Now take it easy, Sluggers - I know much of this post is off topic
(and might even be considered spam) but I hope it might also be
relevant background for some, etc., O K ?
Thanks for reading this rubbish.
(See http://www.acfonline.org.au/docs/publications/rpt0027.pdf for
Now how about the topic?
regards to all
The model OSRAS is described in the On-site Sewage Risk Assessment
System Handbook, DLG 2001, deposited as a publication and
distributed to most Australian university libraries, and also
available from the SepticSafe web site at:
http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/dlg/dlghome/dlg_osras.asp (PDF, about 12Mb,
only available for download in parts, as yet).
Some further information about the NSW SepticSafe program, the
OSRAS and the HNL_OSRAS pilot project is on the web site http://www.dlg.nsw.gov
&index=150 (This site was set up to facilitate access by remote
councils with poor internet bandwidth so it can be a bit frustrating,
sorry. The tender docs include a 20Mb zip file of the publications
and can be accessed as a single file until October 31.)
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws!"
--Tacitus (A.D. 55-130)