Andzac Water on new wastewater treatment technology

wastewater treatment

Andzac Water Treatment’s Andrew Nicol is urging wastewater treatment plant operators to reap the environmental and economic benefits of new technology.

Increased recognition of climate change and a national commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 has put the environmental impact of many industries in the spotlight.

While wastewater treatment plants alleviate water pollution, they also produce carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide – up to 300 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide –according to Global Infrastructure Hub.

Andrew Nicol, Managing Director of Andzac Water Treatment (AWT), says the wastewater treatment industry is traditionally entrenched in old technologies, but it’s time for change.

The inventor of the Andzac Aerator, Andrew says there has never been a more urgent time to pursue newer technologies to help achieve emission reduction goals. He says one of the simplest ways to reduce emissions is to decrease power consumption while maintaining current performance targets.

“With the current surge in interest rates and electricity prices, energy efficiency and the associated cost savings have become critical factors to consider when making capital purchases,” Andrew says. “We believe there is great scope in achieving financial savings for our customers once they adopt change and embrace new technology.

“AWT is committed to working with our clients to provide a solution that meets their needs and brings down the cost of aeration.”

The main benefit of aeration in wastewater treatment is to add air into the water, supplying oxygen to the microorganisms that break down contaminants.

The Andzac Aerator uses submersible pumps combined with venturi injectors to move water for aeration purposes.

Andrew says that compared with land-based pump systems and low speed mechanical aerators, the Andzac Aerator is more effective and economical. 

It’s successfully being used in wastewater and sewage treatment plants, waste transfer stations with leachate ponds, as well as local government settlement ponds.

He’s refined the aerator’s pontoon-mounted design over the years and says its power consumption is one fifth of traditional aerators – making it economical to operate and reducing a plant’s carbon footprint. 

Where traditional aerators weigh about 3000 kilograms, the Andzac Aerator is a more compact machine requiring less infrastructure for installation and serviceability.

The Andzac Aerator’s mobility makes it suitable for local councils, sewerage plants, nurseries, golf courses, sports grounds, farms and aquaculture, among others.

Understanding that every lagoon and pond is unique, Andrew and AWT work with customers to tailor a solution that suits their need, whether that’s balancing efficiency outcomes against Occupational Health and Safety outcomes.

When Goulburn Valley Water’s low-speed mechanical surface irrigator failed at the Tatura Wastewater Management Facility an Anzac Aerator test unit was installed to provide an immediate solution. 

Nathan Epp, then Senior Engineer,  Energy and Commercial Projects for Goulburn Valley Water, says that the test unit was on an eight metre cable about four metres from the bank of a 1.5-hectare lagoon and within days operators noticed a difference. 

“After running the single 2.2 kilowatt Andzac test unit for a few weeks we ran a trial that showed we were getting similar chemical oxygen demand results to the parallel lagoons, each with 30kW aerators running 24/7, with significantly higher dissolved oxygen,” Nathan says.

Goulburn Valley Water had originally ordered two Andzac Aerators for Tatura but following test results decided one would be enough. The second was installed at the Kyabram Wastewater Management Facility with plans to run it in conjunction with a LSM aerator. Nathan says that within a week, the LSM aerator wasn’t required.

“In all, we’re looking at saving over 600,000 kilowatt hours a year in aeration at both sites – about $80,000 a year,” he says.

Andrew says independent testing has provided data that supports the aerators output and efficiency. 

“We know it works well,” he says. “It reduces operating costs by using less electricity, thereby reducing carbon footprint, while maintaining operational outcomes.”  

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