Sydney Water introducing leading edge technology in wastewater treatment process

Media release

4 June 2018
As part of the $450 million allocated to upgrade wastewater treatment plants in Sydney’s North-West, Sydney Water has adopted leading edge technology from the Netherlands that will revolutionise the way wastewater is treated in Sydney.

The Dutch technology Nereda, unlike conventional processes, is an energy-efficient water treatment processes that can effectively extract nutrients and other chemicals from wastewater with a significantly lower carbon footprint.

'It will help transform the way we manage our wastewater infrastructure, making us more sustainable and enabling us to meet the future needs of a growing Sydney,' said Mark Simister, Head of Delivery Management at Sydney Water.

'We’ve trialed the technology by installing and operating a pilot plant at Quakers Hill over the past 12 months. The results were impressive. Not only will this technology reduce Sydney Water’s carbon footprint, but the trial at Quakers Hill has saved us around $14 million in capital costs, which is a saving for all of Sydney Water’s customers' said Simister.

Nereda is an award-winning biological wastewater system that has refined the purification of wastewater, using aerobic granular biomass, which provides savings on energy demands and therefore cost.

Nereda operates a cyclic process which allows the biomass to form granular structures. The developed biomass is denser when compared against conventional technologies, allowing the biomass to settle faster.

Whilst the existing technology ensures only clean and safe water is released back into our environment and ecosystems, the adoption of Nerada will provide similar quality results but with only a quarter of the footprint of conventional wastewater treatment plants, and without additional chemical (eg carbon or ferric) dosing to assist the treatment process. In addition, future proofing is catered for with Nereda providing Sydney Water with the ability to meet future more stringent water quality discharge requirements.

Currently there are over 50 wastewater treatment plants operating, or in the process of implementing, the Nerada technology across five continents including Europe, UK, USA and South Africa.

'It’s just one of the ways Sydney Water is using innovative technologies to deliver cost-effective, quality services to our customers', added Mark Simister. 'This technology will be installed at our water recycling plant at St Marys.'