A recycled water plant in Sunbury, a town in Melbourne’s north-west, is using innovative membrane technology to treat wastewater.

As part of a $53 million upgrade to the Sunbury Recycled Water Plant, wastewater will be filtered through hundreds of thousands of tiny straw-like membranes with holes ten times smaller than the smallest bacteria.

The upgrade will increase the plant’s treatment capacity from 6.5 million to 9.2 million litres of sewage per day.

“Thousands of these 2.6mm-wide membranes, which look a bit like the strands of a mop, are packed into modules,” Western Water’s Managing Director, Neil Brennan, said.

“(In November 2017)  we had cranes lifting 24 of the modules into place in the new membrane tank at the plant.”

“The surface area of the membranes combined is 43,200 square metres, which is more than double the size of the MCG.”

The membrane tank will filter wastewater through holes that are just 0.00003 of a millimetre wide, removing particles and bacteria to produce exceptionally high quality recycled water.

“This is the first time we have used this innovative technology, which also takes up far less space than traditional filtration technology,” Mr Brennan said.

“The space-saving design has meant we can keep the upgraded plant within the same footprint as the original plant. We can also add more modules in future if needed.”

It will enable the plant to keep up with the rapidly growing population of Sunbury and Diggers Rest. 

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