When much of NSW faced drought conditions for more than five years, the inland city of Goulburn became a symbol of the hardships faced by the State as a whole.
The situation in Australia’s first inland city attracted national attention as drinking water dam levels plunged, ratepayers halved their water consumption, level five water restrictions were introduced, and the Goulburn Mulwaree Council prepared contingency plans to truck in drinking water if things did not get better.
Fortunately, things did get better over the last year, but the council has continued with water conservation and water quality initiatives that will stand it in good stead for the future - and perhaps serve as a model for other centres increasingly facing similar issues in the face of global warming.
One of Goulburn Mulwaree Council’s successful initiatives involves the selection of medium pressure ultraviolet (UV) disinfection for its effluent irrigation scheme, which has conserved potable water, achieved high water discharge quality and resulted in savings of several hundred thousand dollars in civil works associated with the scheme.
The project’s main contractors, Ted Wilson & Sons, submitted an innovative design for a pressured on-demand irrigation scheme, simplifying the infrastructure and providing the council with a more economical project – as well as reducing the long term operating cost.
The Goulburn Mulwaree Council awarded CST Wastewater Solutions (formerly Contra Shear Technology) with the UV disinfection equipment supply contract.
CST Wastewater Solutions chose Berson InLine medium pressure lamp technology that is now fully integrated into the council’s PLC/SCADA process control system.
Berson UV-techniek are innovators in medium pressure UV technology. They developed the cross flow in-line system now employed in the Goulburn Mulwaree effluent irrigation scheme.
“The germicidal properties of ultraviolet (UV) light are now well understood and have become widely accepted as a method of wastewater disinfection. Medium pressure UV technology is relatively new in Australia but is rapidly gaining recognition for its advantages” said Pieter Groenewegen, Business Manager of CST Wastewater Solutions.
“Many wastewater treatment plants worldwide are now using UV technology, with an increasing emphasis on reuse applications.”
According to Greg Finlayson, Manager Water Services, Goulburn Mulwaree Council: “We were already using effluent for irrigation but the UV treated effluent gave the council more opportunities for reuse – as well as improving the quality of water that eventually finds its way into the Wollondilly River, which is part of the Sydney Water catchment.”
“The UV disinfection system is achieving a good microbial kill rate and the overall performance of the completed scheme is excellent,” said Marina Hollands, Water And Waste Engineer, Goulburn Mulwaree Council.
There are two main types of UV mercury lamps for disinfection. Low pressure monochromatic lamps that have a single wavelength spike of 254nm, while medium pressure UV is polychromatic with a variety of wavelength spikes. Both disinfect, but the medium pressure technology is considered to be superior as it prevents photo-reactivation.
The Goulburn Mulwaree construction contract, completed in 2007, was originally based on a NSW Department of Commerce design that called for pumping from the storage pond through an in-channel low pressure UV disinfection system to a secondary 200 cubic metre storage tank, followed by an on-demand pumped irrigation system.
The alternative Ted Wilson design took an innovative approach, selecting high efficiency submersible pumps, eliminating a new pump wet well, plus eliminating the secondary tank and pumping directly to the irrigation scheme from the storage pond through the Berson UV system as an on-demand irrigation system.
The advantages of this system were:
- Lower capital cost - The single pump station resulted in simpler infrastructure
- Much simplified construction - The storage pond embankment would have required significant reconstruction to fit the new pump wet well and the concrete channel for the UV disinfection. The new design used a floating pontoon for the submersed pumps. The medium pressure UV system is in-pipe and has a compact foot print
- Lower operating cost – A single pump station uses considerably less operating power and maintenance is simplified. The medium pressure UV system has fewer lamps and is easier to maintain. Everything is accessible above ground with no need for lifting gear.
The scheme’s four-chamber UV disinfection system consists of two parallel trains of two chambers in series. Each chamber contains 12 Berson 3.5 kW medium pressure multi-wave lamps, making a total of 48 lamps.
The system is designed to operate with either one twin train or both together, disinfecting flows of 100-400 litres per second. A low-flow jacking pump system maintains the irrigation system pressure when there is no demand.
Pieter Groenewegen said: “The innovative design and the choice of a medium pressure UV disinfection system was a little controversial but the Client was able to understand the advantages.
“The Australian water and wastewater industry has been dominated by low pressure in-channel UV systems, but increasingly designers and end-users are starting to appreciate the benefits of closed reactor medium pressure systems.”
“In this case using the Berson InLine medium pressure system allowed us to simplify the system and installation. The InLine medium pressure UV was a little more expensive to purchase, but the big cost savings were in the simplified civil works and lower operating costs – several hundred thousand dollars worth in fact,” he said.
CST Wastewater Solutions (formerly Contra Shear Technology) have been providing a broad range of industrial and municipal water and wastewater solutions for 25 years.
CST Wastewater Solutions (formerly Contra Shear Technology) are suppliers of innovative wastewater treatment solutions throughout Australia and New Zealand, with projects also completed in Europe, Asia, Africa and America.
CST Wastewater Solutions are members of the Global Water and Energy Alliance, a group of select companies around the work committed to providing solutions in waste and wastewater treatment for the recovery of green energy and water.
CST Wastewater Solutions’ robust network of partners includes Smith and Loveless, one of the well-known water and wastewater pumping and treatment organisations, and Berson UV-techniek, innovators in UV disinfection for water reuse.
CST Wastewater Solutions’ broad range of wastewater treatment equipment – which is manufactured to ISO9001 and EEC standards of safety and design – includes:
Water and wastewater screening; Grit removal and dewatering; Septic receival stations; Dissolved air flotation; Sedimentation systems and clarifiers; Shaftless conveyors; Sludge dewatering; Lime handling; and silo systems; Continuous sand filters; Microfilters and screens; Solar-powered circulation; UV disinfection; Ozone treatment; Anaerobic treatment.
CST Wastewater Solutions also provide assistance with equipment and system selection, design, installation and maintenance, as well as operation of wastewater treatment systems and delivery of complete packaged plants.