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Shellharbour to get Aerofloat treatment plant

The Dunmore Recycling and Waste Disposal Depot will focus on meeting the NSW state government’s waste avoidance and resource recovery targets.

After an extensive tender process with Shellharbour City Council, wastewater treatment company Aerofloat has won the contract to complete the detailed design and construction of a leachate treatment plant for the Dunmore Recycling and Waste Disposal Depot on the New South Wales south coast.

The new plant will treat the leachate from the Dunmore facility to meet Sydney Water discharge requirements.

Ray Anderson, Managing Director at Aerofloat, said that Shellharbour’s wastewater is particularly challenging due to the high levels of ammonia and its highly variable quality.

“The ammonia will be removed by a process known as nitrification and denitrification. Nitrification converts the ammonia into nitrate and denitrification is the conversion of nitrate into nitrogen gas,” he said.

“The highly variable quality will be addressed by the conservative design of the process and automatic online instrumentation. For example, including dissolved oxygen probes and controllers, which can detect the variability of the ammonia in the leachate.”

Aerofloat said that it will build on its previous experience in designing and building wastewater and sewage treatment plants for a wide range of industries, including plastic recycling, paper and pulp, food and beverage, industrial, mining and remote accommodation. The Dunmore facility will be the firm’s first leachate plant.

“Most leachate plants use sequence batch reactor [SBR] technology and frequently experience problems with foaming,” Anderson added.

“As a point of difference, Aerofloat’s process uses three reactors in series to ensure optimal effluent results: an anoxic reactor, a nitrification reactor and a combined nitrifying and SBR reactor.”

The firm hopes to complete the project before the scheduled completion date to assist the council with its compliance targets and to minimise trade waste disposal costs.

“The project was awarded in late 2020 and the plan has a handover completion date of mid June 2021," Anderson said. “Detailed design has already been 85% completed and the site civil works have started.”

Aerofloat is supporting the local Shellharbour community by employing a number of local subcontractors and local workforce to support its engineers in the installation of the project. Aerofloat’s contracted site supervisor is also local to the area.