Waste Management In Action

Adaptable technology, cost-effective solutions

Adaptable technology, cost-effective solutions

Flexible and affordable sewage solutions enable three regional Australian businesses to achieve compliant treatment results.

Well-established across various industries for its innovative sewage treatment systems, Aerofloat’s Australian team is also known for its carefully considered solutions for regional towns and remote sites.

Michael Anderson, General Manager of Engineering, says that Aerofloat’s unique design solutions reflect the company’s pride in promoting innovative thinking.

“Regional and remote towns and sites need durable, readily transportable designs that ensure a low environmental and financial footprint,” Michael says.

“Remote monitoring is essential, as is ongoing online support from the engineers who build the system.”

The University of Queensland (UQ) recently worked with Aerofloat to create a wastewater treatment system that was sensitive to the historical significance of its Gatton site.

The US Army had constructed the wastewater treatment plant at the Gatton campus in the early 1940s, so the site had heritage listing. The plant predominantly managed sewage from the regional campus, but also from nearby research facilities and restaurants.

“Due to fluctuations in population relative to [university] semester dates, as well as variable high rainfall periods, subsequent changes to peak flows needed to be accommodated in the design,” Michael says.

UQ, working with Fewster Brothers Contracting, drew on Aerofloat’s design experience to create a sewage treatment plant that would require minimal operator maintenance and ensure compliant effluent.

“Aerofloat’s experience in sewage treatment plant design and construction, in particular their expertise in SBRs (sequencing batch reactors), ensured they were the preferred company to work with,” Matt Smith, of FB Contracting says. “Their innovative process design met UQ’s specifications at a competitive price.”

Aerofloat’s design included a fine screen to remove larger particles up front, followed by an anoxic flow balancing tank used for the denitrification process and to manage peak flows. The air lock syphon decanter in Aerofloat’s two Sequence Batch Reactors (AeroSBRs) provided UQ with a cost-effective alternative to other technologies on the market.

Michael says the completed works will ensure environmental compliance for UQ and allow for a higher treatment load capacity.

“Aerofloat is due to complete the installation and commissioning of the site in 2022 once COVID-19 restrictions have lifted. We will have remote monitoring capabilities on the system to facilitate access to our engineers here in Sydney following commissioning,” he adds.

Significant variations in peak flows for a western New South Wales gold mining site also demanded a robust and flexible sewage treatment plant.

Adaptable technology,  cost-effective solutions
Aerofloat worked closely with the University of Queensland to install a wastewater treatment system.

The settlement required a system that could adapt to daily fluctuations in flow rates. Nearly half of the minimum 180 occupants were using the site for showers during peak periods, with that number expected to grow significantly in time. Aerofloat installed an adaptable biological SBR system designed to treat a future daily flow of 15.6m3/day and ensure effective treatment of the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and ammonia levels in the wastewater.

“Our AeroSBR technology enabled suspended growth biological treatment process whereby the microorganisms in the wastewater were aerated, settled and the treated, clear effluent decanted in the same reactor, overcoming the need for a separate clarifier,” Michael says.

“The system integrated with the existing irrigation system, allowing irrigation to the surrounding bushland, further reducing the capital costs for the mining company.

“Aerofloat’s Air-Locked Syphon decanters were incorporated into the design, just as we’ve done for the Gatton site. The patented aeration lances can be easily removed for cleaning even while the system is in use.”

Aerofloat’s engineers have a knack for working within the existing infrastructure of a site to ensure minimal environmental footprint.

In another project, by upgrading the existing sewage treatment system of a popular holiday park in northern New South Wales, Aerofloat minimised capital expenditure, alleviating the need for an entirely new system.

The original sewage treatment plant at the Ballina Beach Village Holiday Park was built in 2006 and had an estimated peak capacity of up to 200 holidaymakers. Significant tourism growth during the peak holiday periods of Christmas, New Year and Easter meant Ballina Beach Village needed to service up to 500 guests. The strain on the existing plant prompted the tourist park owners to upgrade the sewage treatment plant.

The project included a new 46,000L aerobic/anoxic balance tank, modifications to the existing facilities and a new electrical control system with remote monitoring capabilities to assist operators if required.

The plant upgrades also included enhanced automation of the process and pH correction and disinfection.

“The fast-tracked project ensured that the Ballina Beach Village sewage treatment plant was operating smoothly before the next peak holiday period,” Michael says.

Rob Woods, Ballina Beach Village owner is impressed by the turnaround time.

“Aerofloat’s unique sewage treatment plant design and after sales service allowed us to meet our growing capacity needs and ensured a low-maintenance, long-term solution,” he says.

Aerofloat’s innovative design meant considerably less capital expenditure and disruption to operations for the holiday park. The upgraded plant has produced improved effluent than the original system, while ensuring a sustainable solution for many years
to come.

“It’s important for regional and remote towns and sites to have a robust, durable wastewater and sewage treatment solution that they can rely on,” Michael says.

For more information, visit: www.aerofloat.com.au

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