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Touring the largest primary waste water treatment plant in Australia

On 23 July, 26 IICA Members and associates were welcomed on-site by Sydney Water Malabar Plant Manager, Greg Melville who provided an overview of the plant referencing large to scale models.

The Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is the largest primary waste water treatment plant in Australia, treating sewage from 1.5 million people on 635,000 properties, across 500 square km.

The catchment area stretches from Malabar to Blacktown and south to Campbelltown, which equates to a average of 470Ml/day of waste water.

Although the footprint of the plant is extensive, the real processing takes place underground – there are vast and extensive tunnels and galleries linking together the various areas of the plant – plant influent, screenings removal, sedimentation, dewatering, sludge digestion, sludge dewatering, odour scrubbers, over 3 MW of co-generation units, biosolids storage, and more.

The original plant was constructed in 1975, followed by regular technology upgrades. From a control perspective this is particularly interesting since the original underground control room has been preserved – a control ‘museum’.

State-of-the art control cabinet.State of the art control cabinet.

This can be compared to the recently commissioned odour scrubber plant, which features the latest measurement and distributed control technologies, including Profibus fieldbus for all the drives.

The tour was very comprehensive, lots of climbing up and down stair wells, lasting three hours.

Afternoon tea and a short wrap up saw us on our way after an informative and relaxed site visit.

The IICA thanks Greg Melville (Plant Manager), Al Kapocius (Senior Specialist – Control Systems), Paul Fullagar (Production Officer), Richard Camilleri (SCADA Project Engineer), Jeffrey Reid (SCADA Field Commissioning Engineer)  and Guy Stirling (C2HM Hill) for making this site visit an exceptional experience.

[John  Immelman is IICA Sydney Branch Chairman.]

Paul explains the process.

Paul Fullagar explains the process to the visitors.

Al explains the smarts of the system

Al Kapocius explains the smarts of the control system.

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