This is a Smart Water Fund Project

Sewer Mining Technology Trial at Flemington Racecourse

Project Date: 31 December 2006
Project Status: Complete
Research Organisation: Waste Technologies of Australia
Project Number: 40

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The Challenge

Flemington Racecourse is one of the most popular racetracks in Australia with hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, with their most popular event being the Melbourne Cup.

Because of the large volumes of visitors, management believed it would be economically feasible to demonstrate sewer mining as a form of water recycling using the Multiple Water Reuse (MWR) wastewater treatment technology patented by Waste Technologies of Australia (WTA).

The Smart Water Fund provided $270,000 towards the project for development and demonstration of the sewer mining technology.

The Project

A self-contained MWR plant was installed to demonstrate the sewer mining and water purification processes. Extracted water was treated to Class A reclaimed water standards by the treatment plant and demonstrated process characteristics and water quality achievable for the kind of wastewater feed available at Epsom Road Main sewer.

MWR technology is a patented wastewater recycling plant that produces reclaimed water without the use of a biological treatment process. MWR utilises dual membrane system to treat wastewater to exceptionally high quality reclaimed water suitable for all non-potable water reuse applications including toilet flushing, garden watering and car washing.

The dual membrane system consists of a membrane microfiltration unit followed by a reverse osmosis unit.

Due to its compact size it is ideal for onsite applications such as in office or apartment buildings and offers the following advantages:

  • It relies solely on treatment by membrane filtration, is simple to operate and is fully automated. In contrast, a biological treatment process relies on live micro organisms such as bacteria to treat the wastewater and is a more sensitive process and requiring considerably more effort to operate
  • It is safe to use as the dual membrane system provides two barriers for the removal of pathogens in the wastewater compared to a single barrier in most other water reuse plants. The addition of either chlorine or ultra violet ray disinfections provides a third barrier for public health protection
  • Its compact size makes it ideal for onsite applications such as recycling water for toilet flushing and other external use in an office or apartment building
  • The treatment process is enclosed making odour control easy.

The Outcome

Lessons Learnt

The MWR plant successfully demonstrated in this project to be a safe and reliable water recycling plant for sewer mining applications following achievement of the following objectives:

  • The plant achieved DHS validation demonstrating that the plant is capable of providing 7 and 6 log reduction in viruses and protozoan parasites respectively, and therefore producing reclaimed water of a Class A quality
  • The plant operated successfully on a continuous and automatic mode from April to June 2006 and consistently producing Class A reclaimed water.
  • Projected cost for an expanded system producing 100,000 litres per day was $350,000 for installation and commissioning, with an ongoing operating cost of 60 cents/KL.

The Victorian Racing Club (VRC) has included this approach as one of several options in its plans for making the home of the Melbourne Cup more water sensitive.

The Benefits

The project demonstrated that the sewer mining system tested was capable of providing a safe and reliable source of recycled water for use at Flemington Racecourse and similar sites.

The VRC saw the benefits of using reclaimed water and is considering the installation of a much larger capacity plant of about 1 ML/day.

While proving the technology viable, the demonstration plant was too small for the VRC's requirements and it is planned to move the sewer mining plant to another site.

For all Smart Water Fund Project enquiries please contact swfinfo@melbournewater.com.au

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