23 April, 2013

Mothballing purified recycled water

After recent floods in Brisbane in 2011 and 2013, it would appear we (collectively) have forgotten the Millennium drought from 2002-2009.
The Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant (AWTP) located in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia is to be mothballed. 
The AWTP, built as part of the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project (WCRW) to solve the water scarcity problem in south-east Queensland, has never been used for its intended purpose.
Built at a cost of $380m, the plant can produce 66 ML/day of treated water, from tertiary treated sewage treatment plant effluent.
The purified recycled water produced by the plant is of very high quality and could be safely used directly or indirectly as potable water.  
Construction of the plant started in September 2006 and was carried out in two stages - Stage 1A and Stage 1B. Stage 1A was completed in August 2007 and Stage 1B in March 2008. The plant became fully operational in June 2008 but has never run at full capacity.
During the Millennium drought (2002-2009) it produced water to provide security of supply and operation for Tarong and Swanbank power stations.  However, there are not sufficient demands for high quality (relatively expensive) purified water to match the capabilities of the AWTP (apart from potable reuse).
The plant is not only capable of purifying sewage effluent but the back end of the plant includes technologies that remove nutrients and pollutants from the effluent (that are otherwise discharged to our Rivers and Moreton Bay).
Continuous microfiltration, reverse osmosis, advanced oxidation processes are quite energy intense, but the AWTP certainly a cheaper and more efficient process than seawater desalination.

In 2011, Seqwater released the third Water Quality Report for the Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant, with results confirming the excellent quality of purified water it produces and proving the water is safe to add to the drinking supply.
More than 27 000 water quality tests were conducted in this reporting period from July 2010 to June 2011, taking the total amount of tests now performed to more than 92 100. The tests showed the treatment process was 100% effective in removing contaminants present in the inflowing water as prescribed by the relevant guidelines.

These results confirm the findings of the previous water quality reports and prove we can be confident that when we need to add purified water to Wivenhoe Dam it will be safe to drink.
The Independent International Expert Scientific Advisory Panel reviewed the results and Panel Chair, Paul Greenfield said the panel had “concluded the treatment process barriers are able to control any water quality hazards and produce purified recycled water suitable to augment a drinking water supply”.

No comments:

Post a Comment