Upgrade of Murray Bridge Wastewater Treatment Plant to treat 4.5 million litres of wastewater daily
SUEZ delivers an award-winning and sustainable wastewater solutions to meet SA Water’s needs at the Murray Bridge Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Across Australia and around the world, water utilities are facing a complex challenge: meeting the needs of growing populations while simultaneously pursuing better outcomes across performance, efficiency, sustainability and community.
In the city of Murray Bridge, 80km east of Adelaide, SA Water’s wastewater treatment plant served the local community for around five decades, and during this time the population and needs of residents and business changed significantly. A new wastewater treatment plant ensures local operations continue to sustain community growth and activity.
A $52-million upgrade to Murray Bridge’s sewerage network – which included the construction of a new treatment plant, four pump stations and the installation of around 18km of new underground sewer mains – began in late 2018. The plant and supporting infrastructure became fully operational in mid-2020.
SA Water contracted John Holland to lead the construction who then engaged SUEZ for the core process technologies associated with the treatment plant.
Delivering the wastewater plant of tomorrow
SA Water’s former wastewater treatment plant at Murray Bridge had capacity to treat around 2.6 million litres of sewage a day, with 100 per cent recycled for irrigation use in surrounding properties. The new Murray Bridge Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) boosts capacity by nearly two million litres, to 4.5 million litres a day, enabling it to accommodate expected future growth in population and industry.
With the original plant situated on the Murray River floodplain, moving the facility to Brinkley, around 10km south of the Murray Bridge township, also improves its environmental performance by eliminating a source of odour and the potential for discharge into the river during high flood events.
In July 2020, the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia awarded the new Murray Bridge WWTP an ‘excellent’ design rating – the highest to date for an Australian water or wastewater project.
“It’s vital our wastewater infrastructure is able to operate with minimal environmental impact and in a cost-effective manner. Our new Murray Bridge Wastewater Treatment Plant fulfils these objectives, while meeting the needs of the local community now and into the future, as well as the requirements of South Australia’s environmental regulator.” – Chas Allen, SA Water Project Manager
SUEZ technologies in action
SUEZ’s Meteor™ Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (Meteor™ – MBBR) underpins the new Murray Bridge WWTP’s design. The compact biological process breaks sewage down into sludge more efficiently and effectively than traditional space-intensive solutions.
Downstream from this, SUEZ’s Densadeg® compact high-rate lamella clarification system separates suspended solids from the treated wastewater, taking it through the stages of coagulation/flocculation, water clarification and settling of sludge.
While SUEZ has successfully deployed these technologies in hundreds of locations around the world, this is the first time the two have been combined in a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Together, they make Murray Bridge WWTP one of the world’s most cost-efficient and sustainable municipal treatment plants of comparable capacity.
The plant also features an odour control unit consisting of a bio-trickling filter and activated carbon tanks, effectively removing 99.5 per cent of odour.
Meteor™ – MBBR and Densadeg® offer many benefits. The footprint is eight to ten times smaller than traditional biological treatment and settling processes. They offer improved process resiliency to variable flows, loads, and toxic contaminants. Providing ease of operations and maintenance, they also cause minimal community impact (visual, noise and odours) compared to alternative technologies.
The equipment is modular and upgradable, which allows it to be easily adapted to future requirements for plant expansion or changes to discharge requirements.
Generating circular resources from waste
Like its predecessor, the new Murray Bridge WWTP recycles 100 per cent of the treated wastewater for irrigation use on the adjacent Department of Defence and pastoral land – only in much greater quantities as input volumes grow.
After being fully broken down through SUEZ’s advanced technologies and processes, the resulting sludge is transformed into organic biosolids able to be used like a compost to improve soils and selected crops.
The on-site solar array built into the plant will also ultimately generate 150 kilowatt hours per day to help power its operations.
This marriage of two SUEZ technologies to successfully treat municipal wastewater to produce reusable organic biosolids demonstrates the power of innovation to harness the value in wastewater.
SUEZ has the expertise and networks to solve a variety of water and wastewater challenges for our customers around Australia. Explore biosolids management and by-products recovery solutions from SUEZ. Get in touch with our experts here.
*All images supplied by SA water