WESTERN CORRIDOR RECYCLED WATER

Fast-track scheduling provides “first water” for drought relief project in Australia in less than 10 months.

Western Corridor Recycled Water

South East Queensland was caught in the grip of a severe drought and faced stringent water restrictions. Water supply to two nearby power stations was threatened. The government needed a solution that would secure water supplies to the power stations, would help with drought-proofing the state and could be operational on an emergency schedule.

Black & Veatch, along with joint-venture partners, formed the Bundamba Alliance, which was awarded the design, construction and commissioning of one of the three water treatment plants – the Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant (AWTP) – on a fast-track schedule.

Overview

The Queensland Government’s Western Corridor Recycled Water Project was the largest water recycling scheme in the Southern Hemisphere. The Aus $2.5 billion dollar project was designed to recycle and redistribute all of the water from wastewater treatment plants in the Brisbane and Ipswich areas of SE Queensland.

The Bundamba AWTP employs microfiltration membranes, reverse osmosis membranes and advanced oxidation treatment to remove contaminants and impurities, resulting in the highest quality recycled water, an engineering first for Australia. The recycled water is pumped to the Swanbank Power Station and Tarong Power Station, where it is used as cooling water. This water – enough to supply the daily needs of 140,000 people – would previously have come from Wivenhoe Dam, Brisbane’s main storage of surface water for drinking water supply.

The Black & Veatch/Thiess joint-venture was awarded the contract to design, construct and commission the advanced water treatment plant and deliver purified recycled water to the Swanbank power station. The project team delivered “first water,” less than 10 months after the being given access to the green field site.

This multi-faceted infrastructure project included modular components that were designed for “plug and play.” Services included early equipment purchases and extended technical support after commissioning.

The project won multiple awards, including:


  • Australian Engineering Excellence Awards – Environmental Engineering Excellence Award.

  • Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Project Achievement Award – Winner in the Category of International Project / Program / Program Phase.

  • IWA Project Innovation Award, Honour Award in the Regional Category of Design Projects.


Results

Australia received relief from its severe drought with an award-winning wastewater treatment plant, completed in a mere 10 months. The plant’s recycled water for nearby a power station allowed fresh water supplies to be used for the public.



"They met a timetable that some said was impossible. It’s a tremendous feat of engineering recognized around the world."

Anna Bligh, 37th Premier of Queensland