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Logan wastewater plant receives $100M upgrade

Major upgrades have commenced at the Loganholme Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is home to Australia’s first permanent biosolids gasification facility.

The first stage of more than $100 million in major upgrades has begun at the City of Logan’s largest water treatment facility, which services around 300,000 residents.

The $27 million facility is home to Australia’s first permanent biosolids gasification facility, which transforms sewage sludge into renewable energy and a safe, environmentally friendly product called biochar.

Biochar is commonly used as a soil ameliorant for both carbon sequestration and soil health benefits. Once running, it will reduce the volume of biosolids — more commonly known as sewage sludge — by 90%. This is good for the local economy, saving money for ratepayers, and the circular economy, which contributes to sustainability.

Trials were conducted last year and the facility is expected to be operational by mid-2022.

The City of Logan Council will also spend around $69 million to upgrade the plant’s main treatment process, including construction of a modern membrane bioreactor treatment facility covering 3500 m2.

The technology will increase the plant’s treatment capacity from 45 million litres per day to 67 million litres per day and will service an additional 100,000 people.

It will complement the existing conventional treatment process and enable the transfer of flows from the Beenleigh wastewater treatment plan, which will be decommissioned.

The move is expected to pay for itself, with savings of around $27 million in operating costs projected over the next 20 years.

Sustainable water

One of the largest and fastest growing cities in Australia, Logan is pursuing a number of other sustainability projects for its water system.

Next month it will begin construction on a 1000 kW solar array at the plant in a drive toward carbon neutrality. The $3.6 million project will include around 3000 solar panels covering around 3700 m2.

A 30-year-old wastewater pump station at the plant will also get a $6 million makeover including new pumps, valves and pipework to more efficiently manage incoming wastewater flows and enhance safety for operators.

City Infrastructure Chair, Councillor Teresa Lane, said the upgrades would minimise community impacts associated with conventional treatment processes and maximise the use of the flood-free land available on-site at Loganholme.

“This is a world-class facility and the envy of councils Australia-wide,” she said.

“While the infrastructure upgrades will streamline operations and create efficiency, they’re creating employment and work opportunities for hundreds of construction jobs for Logan residents and contractors.”