Douglas WTP Lamella Clarifiers Opening


Aquatec Maxcon and MPA Engineering have now completed and handed over the new Lamella Clarifiers at the Douglas Water Treatment Plant. At a combined capacity of 177 MLD, this is the largest lamella clarifier installation done by Aquatec Maxcon to date. It has the ability to treat the equivalent of 3 Olympic sized swimming pools worth of raw water from Ross River every hour. The importance of the project in providing water securities for the drinking water of Townsville has been recognised by Townsville City Council at the highest level. On 18th April 2023, our Managing Director Peter Ferrando attended the official opening of the new clarifiers with the Mayor of Townsville, Cr Jenny Hill.
We thank BMD Group and Townsville City Council for the opportunity for Aquatec Maxcon and MPA Engineering to play a key part in this project. It continues our history as a proud contributor to Northern Queensland, which only recently includes major work at Charters Towers Water Treatment Plant, Bowen Sewage Treatment Plant, and ongoing work at Freshwater Creek Water Treatment Plant.

A perfect Christmas Gift for Townsville

Aquatec Maxcon is now undergoing performance testing of the new lamella clarifiers for Douglas Water Treatment Plant. Even at this early stage, we are seeing great removal of turbidity which is leading to substantial improvement to the filter run time. This has only been achievable with the combined effort of the commissioning team, and a close working relationship between Townsville City Council, BMD, Aquatec Maxcon and Trility.


Priority Spools despatched by Antonov planes

Following the June 8 explosion at Freeport LNG’s export plant in Texas, which shutdown the second-largest LNG exporter in the United States, Cryeng Group have been expediting the fabrication of vacuum insulated pipe spools to replace the spools damaged by the incident.

By leveraging its material supply chain and utilising its production capacity and extensive fabrication experience of vacuum insulated pipe (VIP), gained from supplying VIP for the construction of the major LNG export facilities in Australia and the Gulf Coast, Cryeng have fabricated priority replacement VIP spools within weeks of the incident to support the Freeport LNG restoration plan.

Priority spools were despatched by chartered Antonov cargo planes from U-Tapao Naval Airfield, nearby to Cryeng Group’s fabrication facility in Rayong, Thailand directly to Houston for delivery to the Quintana Island based facility.

Cryeng’s immediate action and ability to expedite the fabrication of the VIP to the existing project specification has supported Freeport LNG’s planned schedule to get LNG export production restarted. Additional replacement VIP spools are being fabricated and despatched by airfreight from Cryeng to complete the balance of the restoration project.

Supply of Containerised UV Package

Aquatec Maxcon Burdekin Shire UV Home Hill 2021

During September 2020, Burdekin Shire Council was overseeing the design and construct of a 5ML reservoir at their Home Hill Water Treatment Plant, bringing the process train in line with best practice. Council was seeking an experienced company to undertake the detailed design and supply of a Containerised Ultraviolet Disinfection System. The upgrade needed to specifically attain log credit to attain a validated deactivation of cryptosporidium (a microscopic parasite) in the water supply.

Aquatec Maxcon Group (comprising of Aquatec Maxcon, MPA Engineering and Maxcon Industries) was awarded the project specific contract during September of 2020. Utilising a local by contract allowed the Burdekin Shire Council to reduce the overheads associated with project management and contract establishment as these components were already in place. Aquatec Maxcon also kept costs low by completing design and project management in house, utilising its internal Electrical and Mechanical divisions to offer seamless design support and a ‘whole of project view’ encompassing pipework outside of the delivered project scope. The exact project requirements were detailed by the Burdekin Project Team and delivered by Aquatec Maxcon Group and its international UV Partner Trojan Technologies. Council received a containerised solution with insulated panelling, duty/standby air conditioners, industrial electrics, roller door maintenance access and all the pipework and UV systems pre-installed and tested. Offsite fabrication and testing assured the "plug and play" containerised Ultraviolet Water Treatment Solution package arrived fully tested and ready to go, built to suit the challenging tropical conditions of Northern Queensland.  

Aquatec Maxcon is proud to continue to design, supply, deliver and support the Trojan UV fleet in North Queensland. We are proud to add Burdekin Shire Council to our list of installations and ongoing clients in the region.

UV Container Home Hill Aquatec Maxcon

Nomination for AWA Infrastructure Project Innovation Awards

Charters Towers Water Treatment Plant Aquatec Maxcon

Aquatec Maxcon and Charters Towers Regional Council's "Collaborative Design Approach and Use of Innovative Process Technology to Upgrade the FEJ Butcher Water Treatment Plant" was shortlisted as a finalist in the 2021 Australian Water Association (AWA) Queensland Water Awards for the Infrastructure Project Innovation (Regional) Award.

The Infrastructure Project Innovation Award (Metro and Regional) recognises significant and innovative infrastructure projects within the water industry that drive prosperity and sustainability. Projects that may be included in this award are those which involve new or upgraded infrastructure (physical or digital) which have delivered improved outcomes for the organisation, community and/or industry.

Judging criteria for the award includes the following:

  • Project is original and/or innovative or has other outstanding features which sets it apart from common practice among comparable projects 
  • Project has relevance to the Australian water industry and is future focused
  • Demonstrates tangible benefits - social, economic, environmental and/or cultural
  • Evidence that the initiative was carried out or completed during the two years preceding the nomination date

Whilst we did not win the award this year, we are extremely proud of what we have achieved at Charters Towers and we are thrilled to have been nominated and been presented with the opportunity to share our achievements with a wider audience.

A little bit about the Charters Towers Water Treatment Plant Upgrade Project

When put out to market during December 2017, the Charters Towers contract was originally a refurbishment project. The initial aim was to reuse the already existing assets present in the plant without building new infrastructure. Had this original plan gone ahead, the plant is likely to have struggled to achieve quality targets. Aquatec Maxcon’s alternative offers incorporated innovative, modern and more efficient technologies as alternatives to the requested refurbishment.

The Alternative Options presented by Aquatec Maxcon were as follows:

  • Alternative Option One involved the construction of brand-new clarifiers and gravity filters.
  • Alternative Option Two involved reusing the existing clarifiers but utilising brand new gravity filters.

Both of these alternative options meant that new assets would be constructed whilst the existing plant was still running. Once the new assets were commissioned, the old assets would then be taken off line, with no interruption to supply.

Charters Towers Reginal Council considered the options available and agreed to select a revised process for the construction of the new plant.

The Benefits of the Alternative Options

The new direction offered several benefits to the region including:

  • Building new assets allowed the current plant to remain in operation whilst construction proceeded.
  • Increased water stability to the region through modern design with consideration to future legislation.
  • Securing long term economic certainty by providing reliable water under all weather conditions.
  • Protecting public health through the use of new technology.

Through this innovative and collaborative process, the project teams of Aquatec Maxcon and Charters Towers were able to interactively identify and replace process bottlenecks before the final design was completed. Aquatec Maxcon worked openly and collaboratively with Charters Towers Regional Council. Major process equipment items, in particular the filters, were identified as inherently limiting to the plants capability and, even when refurbished, would likely restrict the plant's capacity compared to alternative approaches.

Successes and Benefits of the Project

  • The alternative option selected by Council delivered the water treatment plant project without imposing any water restrictions on the residents of Charters Towers. The original plan would have seen water restrictions for up to 12 months. This success can't be understated in a remote and regional area of Queensland, considering the original solution of 12 months restrictions was originally accepted as the only solution.
  • Later stages of the project were successfully delivered during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, an unprecedented event that disrupted operations on a global scale. Aquatec Maxcon managed to deliver the project despite global upheaval.
  • The residents of Charters Towers now possess a new, efficient water treatment plant that surpasses the capacity, flexibility and security that Council originally set out to achieve. The water supply will support a historical gold mining industry in the region catering to many tourists. (In addition to tourism, two significant gold mining operations located nearby Charters Towers City (Ravenswood Gold and Pajingo Gold) employ many of the town’s locals.)
  • The innovative use of lamella plate technology used in the Charters Towers Water Treatment Plant has a much smaller footprint compared to larger and more conventional clarifiers.
  • The newly upgraded plant is energy efficient and eliminates water wastage. The previous plant possessed no digital feedback or monitoring facility for the key raw water quality parameters that would call for a process adjustment in order to maintain water quality. The former plant consumed an excess of chemicals and power in stark contrast to the modern technology present on site today.
  • Aquatec Maxcon invested almost 30% of the contract value of the new treatment plant into local north Queensland and Charters Towers businesses that was then redistributed throughout the community.
  • Charters Towers has a rich and varied cultural history. Approximately 10% of the Charters Towers population is made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Aquatec Maxcon worked with local companies that represented local Aboriginal people who were engaged to work on the project
  • Charters Towers enjoys a thriving tourism industry built around its cultural history. The upgraded plant helps to secure the future of Charters Towers tourism through the secure supply of consistent and high-quality treated water.

Aquatec Maxcon is proud to have been nominated and presented with the opportunity to share our achievements at Charters Towers.

Charters Towers Award Nomination Innovation Aquatec Maxcon

Charters Towers Aquatec Maxcon Award Nomination

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