Australian councils are facing wastewater challenges as they have to manage treatment costs and comply with discharge limits, while treating increasing amounts of wastewater caused by population growth.

The South Rockhampton Sewage Treatment Plant (QLD) now serves more than 19,000 people, and with the price of electricity rising more than 20 per cent since July 2013, it’s becoming difficult to remain under the effluent limit of 5-10 milligrams per litre for total nitrogen.

However, thanks to an upgrade of this treatment plant, which includes using a diffuser system considered one of the most efficient in the world, the Rockhampton Regional Council has achieved a total nitrogen limit as low as 3.1 milligrams per litre, while aiming to reduce electricity costs by up to 20 per cent.

“More than half of the energy used in a treatment plant such as ours is consumed in the biological/aeration process. This is why we have upgraded the plant by retrofitting it with the highly-efficient aeration system of AEROSTRIP diffusers,” Rockhampton Regional Councillor Greg Belz said.

“We chose Hydroflux HUBER to install 80 of these four-metre AEROSTRIPS not only because they will cut our energy use while reducing our carbon footprint, but also because Hydroflux HUBER provided performance guarantees for the installation. These guarantees, which have been met and verified, included oxygen transfer rates,” Mr Belz said.

Director of Hydroflux HUBER, Luis Bastos, said AEROSTRIPS are easy to retrofit into existing sites and are popular because of the materials used in their construction.

“The main benefits of the AEROSTRIP diffusers are the significant power savings they achieve by the high oxygen transfer rate 4.0-5.0 kgO2/kW and the robustness of the membrane, which has a life of greater than 12 years,” Mr Bastos said.

“All of this is without fouling or loss of pressure. Proof of the popularity of this system of diffusers can be found in the fact that AEROSTRIPS have been installed at over 2,000 sites worldwide.”

Mr Bastos said AEROSTRIPS also deliver cost savings in electricity and lower maintenance costs. The South Rockhampton Sewage Treatment Plant is the fifth installation of AEROSTRIPS in Queensland.

Jessica Dickers

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