Newcrest has introduced a high efficiency and low-maintenance waste water treatment system to its Cadia Valley Operations (CVO), to purify human and other waste water so it can be recycled on-site. The FAST® (Fixed Activated Sludge Treatment) was supplied and installed by CST Wastewater Solutions at the CVO site in NSW.
The treatment system is part of CVO’s program to maximize community benefits flowing from a project that will include Australia’s largest underground mine and the world’s fourth largest gold mine.
“This is a proven environmental initiative by Cadia that demonstrates its concern to optimize conservation of water as a resourced shared with the broader community,” said CST Waste Water Solutions Managing Director Michael Bambridge.
“Cadia is taking a lead as mining companies throughout Australia face the same challenge of optimizing water resources as they expand their operations and job opportunities to the benefit of surrounding communities.”
The FAST system is suitable for a range of unsewered applications such as mine and resource developments as well as construction sites, wineries, hotels and resorts, schools, shopping centers, caravan parks, sports and leisure centers, and boat marinas. Designed to handle 40-120 cubic metres of sewage and other effluent a day, FAST is easily transportable and can be built into shipping containers.
“A big plus of Smith and Loveless FAST systems is that they are very robust and reliable in service, having been supplied to the resources industry for more than 30 years,” said Mr Bambridge. “They are simple to operate and require no daily operator maintenance, so annual maintenance costs are low."
“Treated effluent waste water from the resource plants can be mixed with mine and runoff water and sprayed on the mine’s haul roads for dust suppression, for example.”
FAST was first developed during the 1970s when US Coast Guards had a problem with ships that were causing excessive pollution by dumping wastewater overboard. Wastewater specialists Smith & Loveless were required to produce an on-board solution for these ships. After much research and testing, the marine form of FAST was developed with a fixed-film media combined with activated sludge treatment technology so that bacteria clinging to the media would digest wastewater, producing a clear effluent that was a major improvement to the raw wastewater previously going overboard.
The system worked so well that Smith & Loveless engineers saw possibilities for many additional uses of the technology, producing an entire family of FAST products, many of which are now proven in hundreds of Australasian installations, providing a simple, efficient biological system that offers safety and flexibility for the operator.