Monday, September 03, 2007

Swanbank Power Station on Recycled Water

This week is a significant milestone for recycled water use in Queensland with a key component of the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project reaching fruition.

High quality water from the new Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant is now delivered direct to the Swanbank Power Station. This is currently 13 ML per day, which would otherwise be taken from Brisbane’s Wivenhoe Dam, and expected to increase to 20 ML per day when water restrictions are relaxed.

Further details below from a media release today from the Queensland Water Commission.

Workers toasted with a top drop: Beattie
QWC Media Release
03 Sep 2007

BUNDAMBA: Premier Peter Beattie and Deputy Premier Anna Bligh today lifted glasses of recycled water to toast the success of the first completed stage of the State Government's $9 billion Water Grid.

Mr Beattie and Ms Bligh drank the purified recycled water during an open day at the Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant, the first stage of the $2.4 billion Western Corridor Recycled Water Project to have been completed.

This week the Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment plant started delivering supplies to the Swanbank Power Station via a 7.3km pipeline.

Stage 1A of the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project also involved building a 9.6km "triple" pipeline from the Goodna and Bundamba wastewater plants to the new Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment facility.

Mr Beattie said purified water would not be introduced into drinking supplies in the Wivenhoe Dam system until October 2008, when the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project was running at full steam, taking water from Bundamba and two other Advanced Water Treatment plants at Luggage Point and Gibson Island that are under construction in Brisbane.

"This is one of the most satisfying drinks of water I've ever had," Mr Beattie said.

"Ten months ago, this was a paddock. Now we have a high-tech plant producing some of the best-grade recycled water in the world, which easily meets Australian drinking water standards.

"Out of the worst drought in this region's history we have developed a long-term solution. This is Smart State at work.

"As well as securing our drinking supplies and driving power stations, it will eventually provide our farmers with a reliable water supply. Industry in this growth belt also will be able to access the recycled water."

Ms Bligh used her taste of purified water to toast the 800-strong workforce who laboured long and hard to ensure the success of the project.

"Despite the recent rains, they met a timetable that some said was impossible. It's a tremendous feat of engineering recognised around the world," Ms Bligh said.

At full capacity, Stage 1A will produce 20 million litres of purified recycled water a day for Swanbank, freeing up Wivenhoe drinking water for more than 140,000 people.

At present, flows are reduced to about 13Ml because people in south-east Queensland are using less water than normal under Level 5 restrictions.

"On the upside, this water is of such quality it can be reused by Swanbank more times than the water that was being taken directly from Wivenhoe. This means further water savings in the order of 10 per cent - at least another million litres of drinking water a day for south-east Queenslanders," Ms Bligh said.

When completed in October 2008, the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project will have the capacity to deliver 182ML a day to Swanbank and Tarong Power stations and into Wivenhoe Dam. Its ultimate capacity is 310Ml a day.

The Government also is investigating expanding the capacity of the Gold Coast Desalination Plant at Tugun, from 125Ml a day to just over 170Ml/day meaning more than half of SEQ's water needs will come from sources that aren't dependent on rainfall.


Anonymous said...

Bligh is an idiot for drinking this water and the Queensland Water Commission are irresponsible for promoting it. Even the most ardent proponents of potable water recycling state that the enviornmental buffers and the drinking water treatment plant are important aspects of the so-called "multiple barrier" system. Cheap publicity stunt at its worst!

Anonymous said...

Really informative site you have here... well done.

I wonder whether you could tell me, in general terms, how Australia is doing in terms of our level of innovativeness in water recycling technology as compared to the rest of the world?

What are the leading water recycling technologies produced by Australians (still Orica's MIEX and Memcor's CMF-S technologies?) and how do they compare with those that lead the world?

Stuart Khan said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for the interesting question. I think you have correctly identified to two most significant products (partly) developed in Australia as MIEX and Memcor microfiltration.

The widespread applicability of MF is perhaps self evident. Memcor's technology really has led the world for an increasingly important water treatment process.

However, I also think that there remains considerable potential for MIEX to become a very significant product. There used to be a lot of research going on with MIEX in Australia (primarily in Adelaide), but I rarely hear about it now. Conversely, I worked for a bit at the University of North Carolina, where there was some very active MIEX research being undertaken involving a number of PhD projects. My feeling is that there must be a potentially important role for MIEX in the prevention of reverse osmosis membrane scaling ...among other emerging applications.

As for other exceptional products...there must surely be some in the pipeline, but nothing else really stands out to me as an international success.

Two which I think have potential are Sal-Proc developed by Geo-Processors for recovery of salts from saline water, with the potential to lead to zero liquid discharge for desalination of saline groundwaters; and CETO for harnessing wave-power for seawater desalination. Both technologies were originally developed in Australia and both appear to be about to be commercialised overseas. said...

Dear Stuart,

I came across your blog by chance today; thanks for your kind comment on SAL-PROC technology and its Australian origin, which is correct. You and your readers may like to know that we at Geo-Processors are currently actively pursuing the development and commercialization of another platform technology known as CCPR (Carbon Capture and Products Recovery). In fact SAL-PROC is a key driver in the preparation of chemical sorbents and for products recovery from industry wastewaters, in this technology too. The proof-of-concept trials were successfully carried out in Australia few years back using Great Arstesian Basin alkaline groundwater as a feed. The following web link will take you to a recent aricle on CCPR published in the World Finance Magazine, as one of the few promising carbon abatement technologies: Article w CoverPage-AugSept07.pdf

Based on our previous experience (and my frustration....) from outset we decided that Australia is currently not the right place to commercialse the CCPR technology, although we hope the political climate after the election will be more amenable towards recognising the facts that CCS and the so-called "clean coal technology", even if proven to be technically and economically feasible, are long-long way away from commercial reality. Most importantly, as a great nation WE DO NEED TO DECIDE OUR OWN FATE AND DESTINY. Whether we like it or not, the low carbon economy is on the way, so we ought to bite the bullet and take a lead in developing SUSTAINABLE CARBON MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES using our great bunch of smart scientists and engineers....

Best wishes,

Aharon Arakel
President & Chief Technologist
Geo-Processors USA, Inc.

Stuart Khan said...

Thanks Aharon,

I appreciate the information!


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