TasWater has completed a multi-million dollar upgrade of several sewage treatment plants across southern Tasmania, which have included updating the inlet works that receive sewage from homes and business connected to TasWater’s network.
The upgrade program began in 2012 by Southern Water and the plants that have been upgraded include:
- Turiff Lodge in New Norfolk
- Geeveston and Dover in the Huon Valley
- Risdon Vale and Midway Point in Hobart
- Sorell, north-east of Hobart
The upgrades have included a range of civil, mechanical and electrical works resulting in a significant improvement to the way sewage enters the plants, which has improved the efficiency of the sewage treatment process.
Central to the upgrades was the installation of new screening augers which act as a mechanical sieve, separating out the material which can’t be treated in the sewage plant from the wastewater and depositing it directly into wheelie bins.
The upgrade of the intakes has also fixed significant occupational health and safety issues. Several of the original screening mechanisms required manual raking to clean the screens which was an occupational health and safety risk for sewerage plant operators.
Operators also needed to handle the waste, exposing them to significant disease risks. As part of TasWater’s Zero Harm policy, all work involving water and sewerage plant upgrades must include workplace safety as a priority and the presence of unsafe inlet screening systems was a key driver for this work program, which has amounted to nearly $6 million.
TasWater CEO, Michael Brewster, said the investment was well worth it.
“Our sewage plant inlet works program, as well as improving the treatment process and improving environmental outcomes, is important in modernising the infrastructure across our smaller treatment plants,” Mr Brewster said.
The upgrade will also link the facilities to TasWater’s new network operation centre in Devonport providing around the clock remote monitoring.
“This is part of TasWaters commitment to deliver outcomes that are in the best interest of the Tasmanian community,” Mr Brewster said.
“The works program has taken several years to complete as it has covered 11 individual sites, over that time making the plants more efficient, safer to operate and improving environmental compliance.”