Upgraded wastewater system controls odours at Port Adelaide

SA Water’s Port Adelaide Wastewater Pump Station has received a $2 million-plus system upgrade to reduce and manage odour.

A replacement of the older system — which was nearing the end of its functional life — was undertaken in response to concerns from neighbouring residents about high levels of sewage smells coming from the facility.

SA Water, together with South Australian contractor Waternish Engineering, began the project in May 2018, which involved the installation of a 12.1 tonne, 13-metre-high bio-trickling filter and three smaller bio-filters.

SA Water’s General Manager of Asset Operations and Delivery, Mark Gobbie, said the equipment operates as part of a three-stage bacterial odour control process.

“In short, we move odorous gas from the wastewater and turn it into clean air, before it’s released through the top of the larger of the three filters,” Mr Gobbie said.

“This process helps to eliminate around 99.9 per cent of odour, making a substantial difference for people living near our facility. It’s important to note there is still potential for a slight aroma, particularly on hot and still days, but the newly-installed technology will keep this to a minimum.”

Over the past few months, SA Water’s Port Adelaide operators have successfully replaced carbon filters as an interim measure to combat any odour, and the new permanent system will ensure this standard is maintained.

“The carbon filters have helped to manage the temporary odour increase, but it was important we put in place a more long-term method that’s efficient and can keep up with the volume of sewage passing through the network,” Mr Gobbie said.

“Smells from the pump station are a natural by-product of sewage, but more recently, these odours have increased due to the age of the pump station and the higher intake of flow from a growing local population.

“The Port Adelaide facility currently receives an average of 22.5 million litres of sewage every day, and is a critical part of our metropolitan wastewater network.”

The Port Adelaide Wastewater Pump Station has been operating since 2004, and as part of the wider network, provides sanitation services to more than 30,000 homes and businesses in Adelaide’s western suburbs.

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