Sydney Water is undertaking a project to improve the reliability of its Malabar Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). Among the improvements, a coarse material separator from HUBER is playing a small but vital role in reducing costs and increasing reliability.

Strainpress® technology has been installed as part of the project which aims to upgrade the screenings collection, transfer and handling processes, the grit handling and transfer processes, the sludge digestion, and the biosolids handling and transfer systems. One of the major benefits will be an improvement in the quality of biosolids produced.

The Malabar STP, which processes nearly half of the city’s sewage through its primary treatment processes, produces about 33,000 tonnes a year of nutrient-rich biosolids – a soil conditioner/fertiliser which is used extensively to improve the fertility and structure of farming soils in New South Wales.

These biosolids can produce ‘green energy’ in the form of biogas. Biogas can be used as a fuel, for any heating purpose, and in a gas engine to convert the energy in the gas into electricity and heat.

John Koumoukelis, a Director of Hydroflux Huber, said, “To increase the performance and efficiency of anaerobic digesters that process the biosolids, Hydroflux Huber supplied the Malabar STP with three HUBER Strainpress® sludge screens.

“These Strainpress® sludge screens have been operating for six months and are successfully removing unwanted screenings such as plastics, fine rags, cotton buds from biosolids, before it’s processed in the anaerobic digesters. These materials would also block mixers, heat exchangers and sludge pumps that are installed within the digesters.

“These unwanted materials would otherwise accumulate within the digester, leading to a reduction in performance, maintenance headaches and a reduction in the amount of gas produced.

“One of the major benefits of Strainpress® is that it prolongs the need to put a digester offline for cleaning by many years – so the three sludge screens will make a major contribution to minimising the maintenance costs at the Malabar STP.”

img_1705The Strainpress® sludge screen is a pressure-fed inline system for screening any type of sludge, including highly viscous and greasy waste. It increases the operating reliability of downstream sludge treatment systems, such as thickening, disinfection, stabilisation, dewatering, and drying, and reduces maintenance requirements.

As evidence of its effectiveness, there are more than 1,500 successful installations of the HUBER Strainpress® worldwide, with installations across most major Australian water authorities.

This partner content is brought to you by Hydroflux. For more information, visit

Lauren brings a fresh approach to content. While she’s previously written for publications as diverse as Australian Geographic, The Border Watch and Girlfriend, she’s found her true passion in her current role as an editor in the world of energy and infrastructure trade magazines.

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