Council partnership shows how ultrafiltration can benefit Australia's precious water resources

Towns like Tooleybuc can benefit from cost-effective ultrafiltration systems to improve water quality
Towns like Tooleybuc can benefit from cost-effective ultrafiltration systems to improve water quality

Municipal councils all over Australasia are seeking optimum ways to address challenges posed by water resources declining both in quantity and quality under pressure from local populations and the needs of industry and agricultural users.

Such demands are compounded further as environmentally and health-aware public authorities simultaneously seek to deliver quality water services while playing their part in conservation by making best use of their areas' shared water resources.

One council that has successfully used advanced ultrafiltration technology to deliver a high standard outcome for its district is Wakool Shire Council which draws its water from the Murray River and treats it in the small town of Tooleybuc, NSW, right on the border with Victoria.

Working together with CST Wastewater Solutions' delivery partner Envirotech Water Solutions, Wakool Shire Council replaced the old plant with a new ultrafiltration plant to provide potable water for Tooleybuc's town water supply. The entire plant was installed in just 2 weeks of on-site work and achieved results exceeding Australian standards.

"It was an outstanding outcome to be able to work with the council to complete the work so efficiently within a narrow timeframe. Wakool Shire Council are very happy with the installation, which uses technology widely applicable to the many councils facing similar issues," says Mr Damien Abbott, Business Development Manager - Victoria, CST Wastewater Solutions.

The ultrafiltration system installed at Tooleybuc, NSW
The ultrafiltration system installed at Tooleybuc, NSW

"Another big advantage for councils like Wakool is that on-site attendance and maintenance is very low, with only one day a week being required. This produces both cost-efficiency and OH&S benefits," said Mr Abbott.

The new plant has a capacity of 0.5 ML/day (over 20 hours) with a peak flow of 6 l/s. The water is treated for turbidity, colour, protozoa and viruses using CST's advanced ultrafiltration technology. The technology reduces turbidity from 8 NTU to <0.1 NTU and colour from 15 to 5. Australian drinking water standards specify that acceptable drinking water needs to be <5 NTU and <15 true colour*, so the Tooleybuc plant well exceeds these standards.

"Improving turbidity by over 80 times and significantly reducing the colour to exceed Australian Standards is an excellent result for the project, which is widely applicable to councils and municipalities across Australia," said Mr Abbott.

Michael Bambridge, Energy Plant at Oakey and water quality technologies

The Pentair X-Flow ultrafiltration plant installed at Tooleybuc is a new generation of low-pressure membrane filtration technology engineered to produce water from all kinds of water sources using ultra-filtration (UF) and, more recently, Nano-filtration (NF). X-flow's strength is the integration of critical process steps to ensure a Fill Circle Membrane Technology partnering approach encompassing all key process and operational steps including membrane manufacture, engineering design, installation and commissioning support and ongoing operational support.

CST Wastewater Technology packages

New engineer-and-build water and waste water treatment and recycling packages from CST Wastewater Solutions are aimed at industries and municipalities that want to lower the cost and complexity of such projects.

The design, supply and install packages - incorporating global and locally manufactured technologies proven in use by some of Australia and New Zealand's leading companies and councils - are aimed particularly at:

- Councils seeking engineering assistance to develop clear choices and optimum solutions incorporating advanced low-maintenance technologies providing high levels of water purity while reducing maintenance, waste handling and OH&S issues associated with running them.

- Industries seeking readily constructed or portable, low maintenance solutions for operations particularly in remote, ecologically or environmentally sensitive areas - ranging from resources or agribusiness developments in the country or outback, through to food, beverage, manufacturing and processing plants sharing precious water resources with urban areas.

Rather than presenting such organisations with a jigsaw of disparate collections of technologies and engineering services options for them to piece together, the packaged solutions focus on clear, properly engineered solutions that deliver what they promise. CST offers turnkey solutions based on a known raw water quality and guaranteeing water quality outcomes thus giving user engineers significant confidence in the outcomes and limiting their exposure and potential concerns, says CST Wastewater Solutions Managing Director Mr Michael Bambridge.

*Based on Australian Drinking Water Guidelines Version 2.0 (Updated December 2013)