Official Opening of "Future-Proofed" Black Gully Waste Water Treatment Plant Upgrade

1 Central Highland Regional Council Black Gully WWTP Plaque

Aquatec Maxcon is very proud to announce that our upgraded Black Gully Wastewater Treatment Plant was officially opened on the 1st of November 2019.

The upgraded plant was opened by the Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor, Kerry Hayes, and Assistant Minister for State Development, Julieanne Gilbert. The project was funded through the Queensland Government's "Building our Regions" program, in association with the Central Highlands Regional Council.

The plant now operates at more than double its original capacity as a result of the recent upgrade, producing recycled water for irrigation to a minimum Class C standard and boasting a new inlet and a new bioreactor that separates liquid and solid waste as well as an updated disinfection process.

Scott Mason, Council CEO, had the following to say:

'Before the upgrade, the plant was designed for a population of 4000 but had up to 7500 connections. The Black Gully Wastewater Treatment Plant can now service a population of 10,000.'

‘Population growth estimates forecast that the plant may service up to 17,000 by 2031.

‘This project is an investment by Council and the Queensland Government in fundamental infrastructure to keep the environment and people in our communities healthy and safe.’

Assistant Minister for State Development Julieanne Gilbert said the project saw around 40 local businesses and contractors engaged during the two-year construction period.

‘More than 70 new jobs were created in the community during the construction phase,’ Mrs Gilbert said.‘The upgrade will ensure the region is sustained by the right infrastructure well into the future.

‘This is another important regional project supported through the Palaszczuk Government’s successful $365 million Building our Regions program.

‘We’re proud to have partnered with Central Highlands Regional Council to deliver this for the people of Emerald.’

In total, 303 people completed 125,000 hours of work on site, pouring 6800 tonnes of concrete.

2 Black Gully WWTP Mayor Kerry Hayes opening address
Mayor, Kerry Hayes, introducing the upgraded Black Gully Wastewater Treatment Plant

3 Black Gully WWTP Kerry Hayes Julieanne Gilbert
Mayor Kerry Hayes and Assistant Minister for State Development, Julieanne Gilbert

4 Black Gully WWTP Opening Ceremony
Official opening of Black Gully Waste Water Treatment Plant Upgrade

News sources:

Win News Central Queensland: "Future Proofing Emerald" Facebook Video

Central Queensland News: "The scent of superior sewage" News Article

Central Highlands Regional Council: "Future proofed wastewater treatment plant officially opened" 

AMG host Water & Wastewater WIOA Interest Day

WIOA Cover Photo

WIOA Interest Day attendees are shown the Maxcon Industry workshops

Aquatec Maxcon Group (AMG) were the proud hosts of the Water Industry Operators Association of Australia (WIOA) Water Interest Day on the 7th of November 2019. WIOA hosts several national events every year with these events aiming to bring together like-minded individuals from city and regional water authorities. Interest Days provide water professionals with opportunities to network and share valuable lessons and experiences with each other. The event held at AMG was organised by Colin Haynes (Queensland  Committee Chair) and facilitated by WIOA staff with help from other advisory committee members. Our AMG Service Manager, Zak Floyde Smith, assisted other committee members with organising the water interest day at our Ipswich Facility. Zak currently sits on the WIOA Queensland Advisory Board.

The Queensland Water Interest Day was attended by over 60 people. 8 Councils or Water Authorities were represented as were 2 State Government Departments and numerous suppliers to the greater water industry.  Aquatec Maxcon Group was selected to host the interest day as it is unique and the only business of its kind in Australia. Peter Ferrando, Managing Director of AMG, gave the opening presentation covering the history and a brief overview of the Aquatec Maxcon Group. Three papers were presented by Andy Watson (from the South Burnet Regional Council), Terry Heness (Toowoomba Regional Council) and Gary Hargreaves (TAFE Queensland). The speakers covered three separate topics including: New high tech headset equipment on show by TAFE QLD demonstrating the potential technology of the operators of the future; South Burnet Regional Council covered the huge financial and social success of utilising recycled water from their new Nereda Treatment plant in order to grow cattle feed and irrigate sporting grounds; Toowoomba Regional Council addressed a water treatment plant that is undergoing trials in order to improve operations.

Wrapping up the formal presentation component of the day, Jason Lee (QUU) held a Panel discussion where Tim Hardcastle (QUU) Shannon Thomas (Unity Water) and Marcus Boyd (Toowoomba Regional Council) spoke freely about several key topics including: What technologies could make a difference in the near future to operations; how to budget and organise funding; and how to encourage the next generation of emerging water professionals to get involved in the water industry.

Attendees were invited to participate in several tours of different key areas of the AMG premises. Aquatec Maxcon design was showcased in the design and drafting area integrating process, mechanical and electrical design as well as models that can be viewed in 2D, 3D and even in Virtual Reality. A tour was of the steel fabrication business, Maxcon Industries, was conducted. Maxcon Industries (MI) fabricates specialist equipment in mild steel as well as stainless steel.  MI also boasts onsite sand blasting, three large painting bays and a large assembly bay. A tour of the MPA Engineering facility was also held. At the MPA workshops, the groups were shown how the design and construction process for an entire switchboard is conducted. Starting with a set of drawings, progressing to an empty enclosure and ending with a switchboard under Factory acceptance testing - a lot goes into the manufacturing of a switchboard.

A little about WIOA: WIOA is an association whose members represent Private and Public Water Authorities across Australia. Members are welcomed from any organisation responsible for the maintenance or operation of any facet of the Water Industry. Interest Days provide water professionals with opportunities to network and share valuable lessons and experiences with each other. The numerous state based committees aim to promote increased standards of training as well as access to teaching material throughout the industry in order to increase the efficiency and competency of members. WIOA members are the unsung heroes of public health and environmental protection. Without highly skilled and well-trained operations staff across Australia we would not have safe drinking water at our disposal.

A quick thank you to our sponsors: Trojan Technologies (who sponsored the morning tea of Krispy Kreme doughnuts)

Feedback from those who attended the Interest Day has been very positive and the day has been cited as a great learning opportunity for all involved.

Linkedin Story 

Update on the Bowen Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade

Aquatec Maxcon is proud to be a part of the Whitsunday Regional Council's $25.4 million upgrade to Bowen’s Sewage Treatment Plant.

The upgrade will double the capacity of the existing sewage treatment plant and allow the new facility to treat a greater volume of quality Class A recycled water, which can be reused for irrigation in Bowen’s parks, ovals and golf courses.The new plant will also improve the quality of water being released into the Coral Sea, greatly benefiting the natural environment of Edgecumbe Bay and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

A photo of the Bowen Sewage Treatment Plant construction site taken on the 14th of September 2019

Construction on the new plant began in January 2019 and the upgraded plant is scheduled to be brought online from December 2019. There will be further commissioning, testing and site works following the completion of the plant at this stage, with the entire project expected to be completed in May 2020.

Click here to view "Growing Utopia", a brief video presentation about the Bowen STP Upgrade initiative

With the potential to service a population of 14,000 people, the new plant will not only help the environment with upgraded technology, it will provide greater water security for Bowen residents and farmers.

The Bowen Water Recycling project is part-funded ($9 million) by the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund which targets infrastructure development in regional areas. Whitsunday Regional Council has committed $16.4 million to the upgrade of the Bowen Sewage Treatment Plant.

Click here to read more about the Project  at the Whitsunday Regional Council website. 

Bowen 3D Model

From the Drawing Office: 3D Model of the Bowen Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade 

Bowen Superimposed

3D model of the Bowen Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade superimposed over a photo of the Bowen site taken on the 14th of September 2019.

Our Proud Association with Local Buy

Aquatec Maxcon is proud to be associated with Local Buy through the Local Government Association Arrangement for the Supply of Products & Services for the provision of Road, Water, Sewerage & Civil Works (BUS270).

What is Local Buy?

The purpose of Local Buy is to provide Councils and other approved Purchasers with a straightforward procurement process. Purchasers will be provided with a choice of service providers who possess a strong regional presence - leading to the development of competitive local businesses, thus providing commercially competitive rates. Local Buy contracts allow clients to access the services we offer quickly and efficiently.

Why sell to Local Government?

Queensland councils are responsible for building and maintaining a large range of assets including roads, libraries, parks and gardens, leisure centres and waste facilities. In achieving this objective, Queensland local government entities spend approximately $12 billion on operating and capital expenditure and manage over $108 billion in total assets each year.

Goods and services accessed by Queensland councils each year include fuel, corporate wardrobe, pumps, sewer relining services, trucks, weighbridges and legal services.

Why do government purchasers use Local Buy?

A contractual arrangement established by Local Buy enables councils and local government authorities to purchase a diverse range of goods and services from Local Buy suppliers without tendering. While councils and local government authorities are not legally bound to use Local Buy’s services, purchasers using Local Buy arrangements save significant time and money.

For more information about Local Buy, visit http://www.localbuy.net.au/

 local buy right size

Contract awarded to Aquatec Maxcon for Longford Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade

TasWater has awarded a design and construct contract to Aquatec Maxcon to upgrade the Longford sewage treatment plant. 
“This is an exciting time for us,” TasWater Project Manager Rennie Brown said.  
“We took a forward-thinking approach on this project by involving contractors early in the process. 
“This has resulted in an innovative plant design, the first of its kind for Tasmania, and we look forward to working with Aquatec Maxcon to see it completed.” 
The new plant will use a technology called Nereda®, which processes sewage and other wastewater products more efficiently compared with more conventional treatment methods. Nereda® technology not only has capital cost savings but also improves overall carbon footprint with significant reductions in power usage and operating costs. It is a sustainable alternative to activated sludge processes and is gaining increasing worldwide attention in the water industry. 
“The innovative process incorporates a granular biological substrate used to remove contaminants, with improved nutrient removal.  This allows smaller treatment tanks, is more energy efficient and provides increased flexibility to manage different strengths of wastewater,” Mr Brown said. 
“Wastewater at Longford is a mixture of domestic and trade waste and is varied in strength so this technology provides a robust system to respond to the incoming loads.” 
Upgrading the Longford sewage treatment plant will significantly improve the quality of effluent discharge and better manage sewage odours that have previously affected the town. 
“Parts of the new plant will be fully enclosed and have a two-stage odour control system incorporated to remove odours before air is extracted,” Mr Brown said. 
“This will help us meet our commitment to the community to reduce odours coming from the sewage treatment plant. 
“We have made significant improvements recently to reduce sewage odour in the town but it is possible some odour may be noticed at times until the new plant is commissioned.” 
Mr Brown said the plant design also meant it could be easily upgraded later to increase capacity if required. 
“The plant will have a slightly smaller footprint, so can be built within our existing site, but will allow flexibility for future growth,” he said. 
Detailed design work is currently underway and TasWater will advise residents before starting construction which will occur once sufficient design is complete and all approvals secured. 

For more information and press releases about the Longford Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrade:

Nereda in operation

Upgrading the Longford Sewage Treatment Plant will significantly improve the quality of effluent
discharge and better manage sewage odours that have previously plagued the town.

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