Emerging Technologies for Wastewater Treatment and Reuse
Clean water is an essential resource for people and their environments throughout the world.
Providing effective and environmentally friendly solutions for wastewater treatment is paramount to the efficient return of clean, safe water back to its source.
The reliable and sustainable operation of a biological wastewater treatment plant is fundamental to the efficiency, cost of sludge management, energy consumption and monitoring cost of a wastewater treatment solution.
When a crucial wastewater treatment asset breaks down on-site or does not conform to environmental or safety legislative requirements, the risk and potential impact on a business, community or the environment can be both harmful and costly.
Ecofarmer Australia continues to be the trusted solution for the highest quality and reliability of biological SBR and MBR wastewater treatment designs in Australasia.
Ecofarmer Australia has continually evolved its wastewater treatment solutions over the past decade to meet the heavily regulated industry within legislative requirements for engineering structure, biological modelling and water quality outcomes.
With a strong track record in delivering high quality, turn-key waste water treatment solutions in some of the harshest and most complex environments, Ecofarmer Australia has found that remote areas display fragile environmental footprints due to sites being exposed to drought, flooding and end water quality across nitrogen, phosphate, turbidity and pathogenic microorganisms when compared to the environmental landscape.
After years of research, design and testing, 2013 saw the highly anticipated release of Ecofarmer’s tailored range of containerised wastewater treatment solutions, each product structurally engineered and certified to face environmental issues with higher yielding final effluent release parameters in our base design.
Mining Industry Wastewater Management Issues
In remote areas it is imperative for machinery and equipment to perform at optimal efficiency all the time.
Recently the Australian Mining Review sat down with Ecofarmer Australia director Alex Roussetos to learn how the company’s innovative advancements and practices are playing a leading role in the development of cost effective, reliable and sustainable technologies for the sector.
Design and Engineering
“The containerised solution enables the production of modular waste water treatment plant and equipment designed to ensure conforming treated water is produced to meet environmental legislation,” Alex said.
“We provide an extensive warranty on the steel structure, which allows our clients protection of their asset.
“These units are not a conventional 14 gauge (1.9 mm) corrugated sheet steel panel used in shipping container fabrication.
“Our units are manufactured from a robust 6mm formed custom profile sheet tailored to our Ecofarmer products offering excellent corrosion allowance and strength.
“Our Ecofarmer product range is designed and engineered to exceed site expectations and meet Registered Professional Engineers (RPE) certification, government and legislative requirements.”
Energy consumption is one of the largest expenses in operating a wastewater treatment plant.
The largest proportion of energy is used in biological treatment, generally in the range of 50-60% of plant usage.
“The Ecofarmer unit is designed and fitted with multi-purpose pumps eliminating additional motors that can be found in other conventional wastewater treatment plants for specific duties,” Alex said.
“In addition we have developed smart automation through our human machine interface (HMI)contected through our programmable logic controller (PLC).
“This program continually monitors the inflow and hydraulic fluid height and automatically adjusts the mechanical and chemical treatment process when required, reducing energy consumption and associated costs.”
Ecofarmer Australia delivers environmental sustainability to all sites, by ensuring wastewater treatment plants are always in compliance to minimise environmental impact and other sensitive environmental water matters.
When looking at wastewater treatment from a compliance perspective, it’s useful to consider how wastewater treatment processes might be able to reduce mining operation expenses.
“We can ensure mining sites reduce operational costs through our smart automation and programming, which provides site operators the ability to adjust and control the Ecofarmer water management program, to avoid issues before it is too late,” Alex said.
“In addition, the PLC and HMI system has the ability to be fitted with a remote dial in platform allowing our engineers to diagnose issues and assist the site operator, through phone support without the company enduring a call out fee.”
The design of the Ecofarmer system conforms to the sampling requirements set out in governing legislation to release to land containments.
A poorly managed wastewater process with negative results will lead to costly pump outs and breach of site environmental compliance.
“Efficiency and process will result in a long term gain for any mining project: this is the Ecofarmer difference,” Alex said.
Minimising Sludge Production Issues
Environmental regulations for sludge disposal are becoming more stringent and landfill costs are escalating at an alarming rate.
Ecofarmer Australia wastewater treatment technology demonstrates it can reduce the real total cost of wastewater treatment.
“We have incorporated in all our Ecofarmer base designs an independent waste activated sludge (WAS) tank management and storage system ‘WAS’ to minimise waste handling onsite,” Alex said.
Low Nutrient Loading And Nutrient Overloading Issues
“In the past we have seen many conventional wastewater systems suffer from low and high food/nutrient and hydraulic loading,” Alex said.
“To address this issue we have designed our systems to monitor the level in the balance tank through level sensors whilst automatically adjusting the Ecofarmer tune.
“We can subsequently cater for low and high camp numbers due to our ability to adjust the Ecofarmer automated cyclic aeration/mixing process and administer chemical delivery to supplement a carbon source.”
Transportation to Remote Areas
The EcoFarmer is optimised for seamless transportation by any rail, shipping or freight service.
This is a result of the overall footprint of the structural unit which ensures it is ideal for regional and isolated destinations where deployment is often difficult.
The EcoFarmer has been designed to ensure rapid commissioning on-site.
“Our mining clients can simply connect to power via an electrical plug of their choice and connect to water input and output by way of camlocks, or hard connection for permanent sites,” Alex said.
Ecofarmer Australia understands how important it is for any mine site to have easy and efficient products that mitigate time wastage.
Protecting Your Investment
Utilising a durable and robust modular platform, the EcoFarmer includes a comprehensive 20-year structural warranty, ensuring the long-term asset protection of your wastewater treatment investment.
With three dealerships in NT, WA and QLD and a nationwide service network, Ecofarmer Australia clients can have the confidence of knowing that they have access to expert product knowledge and 24/7 technical expertise a phone call away.
“We are committed to providing the highest quality product and service to our customers,” Alex said.
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