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The Northern Water Plant - Barwon Water

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The $94.2M Northern Water Plant near Geelong, Victoria is a state of the art waste water treatment facility. It was constructed by John Holland Construction, and combines several functions in that it receives wastewater from the nearby Shell refinery and from sewerage pump stations at Oyster Cove and Corio West.

This wastewater goes through three key treatment stages.

The first stage is a biological process during which naturally occurring organisms digest and break down organic matter.

The second stage pushes this biologically treated water through membranes to remove fine particles, pathogens and viruses and is called ultra-filtration.

This filtered water then undergoes reverse osmosis to reduce the salt concentration. Reverse osmosis forces saline water through semi-permeable membranes at high pressure to produce high quality recycled water with a low salt content

The final step involves dosing this recycled water with chlorine.

Biosolids are a by-product of the treatment process. These are thickened and dewatered on site.

The dewatered sludge is transported to the biosolids drying facility at Black Rock for conversion into nutrient-rich farm fertiliser.

Odour control is a central focus of the Northern Water Plant. To ensure no off-site odour, all significant odour sources within the plant are covered. This includes the biological treatment tanks. All air emissions are treated in an on-site odour control facility.

It produces Class A recycled water which is used by the Shell Oil Refinery and reduces the local drinking water use by 2,000 Million Litres

The plant was officially opened on April 30, 2013. It is testament to the benefits of private and public sector collaboration in achieving innovative solutions to the challenges posed by regional growth. The plant is owned and operated by Barwon Water.

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