To cater for growth and development in one of the fastest growing cities in Australia, Urban Utilities has completed a major upgrade of the Bundamba Wastewater Treatment Plant in Ipswich. The utility has also installed a new belowground wet weather pump station in Hawthorne to service the area and enhance environmental outcomes in the popular Brisbane suburb.

Bundamba Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Project

Urban Utilities, alongside project partner Ventia, has completed a $30 million upgrade to Ipswich’s largest wastewater treatment plant.

The Bundamba plant receives and treats the wastewater from more than 93,000 people every day. The project to upgrade the site involved a range of works to renew and upgrade major components of the plant, including the construction of new inlet works, a new septage and sludge receival facility, and a new electrical switchroom, as well as improvements in the dewatering, chemical receival bunding, service water, the final settling tank and sitewide control system improvements.

Urban Utilities delivery manager Vedran Maric said the investment in the plant, which has the capacity to service 133,000 people, would help future-proof the fast-growing region. He said a key part of the project also involved raising all critical equipment at the plant above the 2011 flood level to protect against future flooding.

“A new 50 tonne switchroom, which houses new switchboards and control system equipment, was raised above the flood level,” he said.

“The new inlet works also has numerous flood mitigation measures for critical process equipment, including service water boosters, located on mezzanine levels. Diesel storage tanks for the backup generators and site blowers were also raised as part of the project.” Mr Maric said Urban Utilities and Ventia used a collaborative, innovative approach to complete the important project.

“To make the process as safe and efficient as possible we built the prefabricated switchroom off site and moved it into position with a 350-tonne crane,” he said. “We also took a collaborative approach to the procurement process for pumps and other essential equipment as part of the upgrade,” Mr Maric said.

“We worked with the contractor and designer in the final selection of many of the pumps, with the governing criteria subject to the application.

For example, on a septage receival station, we opted for a Flygt Concertor for the integrated functionality and high torque. For the new service water pump sets, we went with Xylem’s package set, complete with drive-mounted integrated variable speed drive (VSD) and controller.

For the inlet works pump station, we trialled an integrated package wet well and pump set from Aquatec. Performance requirements and capital, operational and maintenance costs were also considered as part of the procurement process.”

Mr Maric said the upgrade involved several planned shutdowns in the wastewater network and precise traffic management. “Around 16 million litres – more than six Olympic swimming pools – of wastewater is treated at our Bundamba plant every day so it took a lot of careful planning to ensure the plant remained operational while we completed the upgrade,” he said.

“On-site traffic management during construction was challenging due to the old septage receival facility being located inside the plant. This meant that there were 10-15 trucks per day driving through the site to use the facility. The construction team implemented a traffic management plan and worked collaboratively with the on-site operations team to ensure there were minimal disruptions to the septage receival customers.”

Mr Maric said the larger planned shutdowns were undertaken at night when the flow into the plant was low.

“Significant planning went into those longer planned shutdowns as several pump stations needed to be isolated in the network and flows tankered to other treatment plants,” he said. “Where possible, concurrent works were undertaken to minimise the impact to the plant operation.

“Safety, innovation and collaboration were essential to completing this project and I’m proud of what our teams have achieved.”

Hawthorne Park Wet Weather Pump Station Project

Urban Utilities and project partner Fulton Hogan Utilities have constructed a new belowground wet weather wastewater pump station at Hawthorne Park in Brisbane’s East.

The project involved the construction of the wet weather pump station as well as the installation of new wastewater pipes to help manage wet weather overflows and improve environmental outcomes in the area.

Urban Utilities Project Manager, Stephen Harding, said the new pump station will operate during wet weather events to divert flows from the local wastewater network to a larger nearby trunk sewer. Mr Harding said the majority of the infrastructure was built belowground to complement the bustling park’s aesthetics.

“Hawthorne is a leafy, welcoming suburb in Brisbane and we wanted to ensure we maintained the integrity of the green space at the popular park,” he said.

“To keep the park open and accessible, the new pump station was built at the edge of Hawthorne Park, near the existing toilet facility.”

Mr Harding said most of the pump station’s infrastructure is underground, including a 7.4-metre-deep wet well, valve pits and pumps, with a ventilation pole and electrical switchboard sitting at ground level.

“As part of the project we used two Xylem Flygt 13.5kW submersible pumps in a duty standby configuration,” he said. To add some colour to the project and engage the local community, Fulton Hogan had the creative idea to cover the switchboard with a vinyl wrap artwork blending the structure into the park.

Hawthorne Pump Station.

“Fulton Hogan’s Stakeholder Communications Manager, Gail Harris, encouraged the community to choose their preferred design and they selected an artwork with trees that matched the surrounding environment,” Mr Harding said.

“Fulton Hogan also installed a community table and bench setting, which was welcomed by park users.” Mr Harding said the popularity and central location of the park meant community consultation was at the forefront of the project.

“The park is widely used by the community from yoga and fitness groups, to the Morningside Australian Football Club. The construction site was also adjacent to commercial buildings such as the Hawthorne cinema which required additional community consultation to minimise disturbance,” he said.

“The project is a testimony to the good work of Fulton Hogan Utilities who were able to construct the pump station in a very busy location with minimal impact to the local community.”

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