Newcastle West 1 wastewater pump station.

Hunter Water has announced it will invest more than $5 million to upgrade one of the largest and longest-running wastewater pump stations in the region, with early works set to commence this week. 

Hunter Water is in the development phase for the major upgrade, part of Hunter Water’s program to replace and upgrade water and wastewater-related assets across the region.

Over the next fortnight, Hunter Water and its contractors will install an interim odour control unit connected to a standard-size, modern ventilation stack replacing the 27-metre-high version that has formed part of the Newcastle city skyline for more than a century.

The major upgrade on the Newcastle West 1 wastewater pump station will take place in 2023 and will extend its operational life and improve community amenity.

Hunter Water Asset Solutions Group Manager, Justin Watts, said an odour control unit will not only improve community amenity but also protect the pump station and sewer pipes from corrosion.

Mr Watts said the wastewater pump, one of the biggest in the state, transfers wastewater from all or parts of the following 15 inner Newcastle suburbs:

  • Adamstown
  • Broadmeadow
  • Carrington
  • Hamilton
  • Hamilton East
  • Hamilton North
  • Hamilton South
  • Islington
  • Maryville
  • Mayfield
  • Mayfield East
  • New Lambton
  • Tighes Hill
  • Wickham
  • Newcastle CBD

“Installing, at first, an interim odour control unit and then a permanent one during the major upgrade will greatly reduce the unpleasant experience some residents and shoppers have experienced on occasion in the past by extracting and filtering bad-smelling gases like hydrogen sulphide, also known as rotten egg gas.

“Reducing hydrogen sulphide also limits corrosion, extending the sewerage system’s operational life and making network management and maintenance more efficient.

“There are about 12,500 residents in these 15 inner Newcastle suburbs, and even though the pump station has ample capacity now, these suburbs will continue to grow including several new multi-storey residential apartment buildings, which is why we’re planning for the future,” said Mr Watts.

The early work and next year’s major upgrade will expand on Hunter Water’s actions in 2021, which included installing extra pipework to reduce turbulent flow in the below-ground structures and replacing ground-level covers and hatches to better contain odours.

Hunter Water looks forward to continuously improving the infrastructure that delivers quality outcomes for both the community and the environment in which we live.

Featured image: Newcastle West 1 wastewater pump station. Image: Hunter Water. 

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