Warragul Waste Water Treatment Plant
Women on Farms West Gippsland members spent an interesting morning on a crisp sunny day at the Waste Water Treatment Plant at Warragul. Adrian Harper and Wayne escorted the ladies around the series of treatment tanks where wastewater full of impurities was “cleaned or treated” to be released into the Hazel Creek.
Wastewater from residents and businesses in Warragul is pumped up from the holding pit to the step screen. This is the only time water is pumped on site, and then all movement is by gravity flow. At the step screen all the non-biodegradable rubbish is removed. This is where “wipes’ of all types end up, if they haven’t blocked private toilets already. This waste is deposited into bins for landfill.
Then the wastewater goes a circular tank where a vortex causes the sand and grit to fall to the bottom from where that is pumped to a bin for removal. The wastewater now flows into the treatment plant. The bacteria in the anaerobic tanks get to work to remove the Phosphorus. The Phosphorus will be held in the sludge that is later removed.
The wastewater then flows to the aerobic tanks where different bacteria break down any organic material. This is where the Nitrogen is removed to the atmosphere. Then it is off to the clarifier where the sludge settles to the bottom prior to being pumped off.
The water then flows to the Ultra violet shed where any viruses or bacteria are destroyed and clean water is discharged into the Hazel Creek. Water quality tests are regularly carried out with water quality always better downstream of the discharge point than upstream.
The sludge, a valuable source of Phosphorus, is taken to Dutson Downs where it is composted and incorporated into the product Revive for use in fertilizing soil.
The site is managed by one operator with mobile phone and computer technology allowing adjustments over the Internet to fine tune operations.
The normal daily input is 4.5 million litres but the storm the previous night increased the input to 9.5 million litres. Wayne had worked long into the night to keep Warragul, Drouin and Nerrim South wastewater plants operating.