When it comes to managing sewage and wastewater, mining sites must battle with fluctuating settlement numbers and dramatic increases in peak flow rates. A central New South Wales gold mining site faced a rapid population growth of up to 50 per cent and expected further increases in the future. It required a robust, flexible and innovative solution to ensure it could meet demand in a short timeframe.
Australian wastewater and sewage treatment specialists, Aerofloat, was engaged to upgrade the existing sewage treatment plant to treat domestic sewage and wastewater on site.
Aerofloat completed installation and commissioning of the plant within the agreed timeframe to ensure minimal disruptions to operations at the site.
Known for its innovative approach to wastewater and sewage, Aerofloat designed and installed its patented Sequencing Batch Reactor (AeroSBR) technology to meet the daily sewage/wastewater flow rates.
The unique design also ensured compliant effluent that could be discharged via the existing irrigation system. The AeroSBR biological wastewater treatment solution incorporated Air-Locked Syphon (ALS) decanters and patented aeration lances that ensured minimal operational downtime. The lances were easily removed for cleaning even while the system was in use – saving operational staff on system maintenance time.
Aerofloat’s General Manager, Michael Anderson said the company’s AeroSBR technology ensures a sustainable treatment solution for the remote site.
“The AeroSBR 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,” said Anderson.
The plant was able to manage the peak flow rates and allowed for the expected population growth at the site of up to 50 per cent, equivalent to 180 staff. Nearly half of the minimum 180 occupants were on site using the showers at peak times, with that number expected to grow by half again in the future. Aerofloat’s treatment system treated wastewater from the shower blocks as well as general sewage treatment from the toilets. The innovative and robust system enabled the mining group to treat its sewage and wastewater on site.
Anderson said the system was designed to ensure a small environmental footprint.
“Our system was designed to integrate with the existing irrigation that irrigates surrounding bushland, reducing the capital costs of the system.”
Aerofloat’s sensitive design process complemented the mining company’s requisite for minimised environmental impact, including a small physical presence, water recycling and conscientious waste residue treatment and storage.
“Aerofloat’s sewage treatment plant was designed to treat a future daily flow of 15.6m3/day (up to 16m3/day) and ensured effective treatment of the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and ammonia levels in the wastewater,” said Anderson.
Aerofloat added a final disinfection process to the plant via an automated dosage system. This additional measure ensured excellent water quality prior to irrigation to the surrounding ecosystem.
“It was great to get the system design and installation completed on schedule, and our commissioning of the site executed smoothly,” he added.
“We’ve also got remote monitoring installed at the site so that our engineers can log on and remotely monitor from Sydney, and optimise the system for the operators,” said Anderson.
Aerofloat offers innovative solutions for sewage treatment plants for mining sites across Australia. Get in touch with Aerofloat’s engineers to discuss your sewage and wastewater treatment needs at www.aerofloat.com.au