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New wastewater treatment technology installed in Sydney’s north west

Leading edge technology from the Netherlands has been adopted in Sydney’s north west wastewater treatment plants as part of the $450 million upgrade, with the technology expected to revolutionise the way wastewater is treated in the NSW capital.

The Dutch technology Nereda is an energy-efficient water treatment process that can effectively extract nutrients and other chemicals from wastewater with a significantly lower carbon footprint.

An award-winning biological wastewater system, Nerada has refined the purification of wastewater using aerobic granular biomass, which provides savings on energy demands and therefore cost.

Sydney Water Head of Delivery Management Mark Simister said the addition to the utilities asset portfolio is expected to boost infrastructure management efficiency.

“It will help transform the way we manage our wastewater infrastructure, making us more sustainable and enabling us to meet the future needs of a growing Sydney,” he said.

“We’ve trialled the technology by installing and operating a pilot plant at Quakers Hill over the past 12 months. The results were impressive.

“Not only will this technology reduce Sydney Water’s carbon footprint, but the trial at Quakers Hill has saved us around $14 million in capital costs, which is a saving for all of Sydney Water’s customers.”

Nereda operates a cyclic process which allows the biomass to form granular structures. The developed biomass is denser when compared against conventional technologies, allowing the biomass to settle faster.

While existing technology ensures only clean and safe water is released back into our environment and ecosystems, the adoption of Nerada will provide similar quality results but with only a quarter of the footprint of conventional wastewater treatment plants.

“It’s just one of the ways Sydney Water is using innovative technologies to deliver cost-effective, quality services to our customers. This technology will be installed at our water recycling plant at St Marys,” Simister said.

There are currently over 50 wastewater treatment plants operating, or in the process of implementing, the Nerada technology around the world.