CST Wastewater Solutions has been recognised in the environmental category of the 2016 Australian Mining Prospect Awards.
The accolade was for its Modular Smith and Loveless Fixed Activated Sludge Treatment (FAST®) system, which helped a world class outback mining operation produce an effluent water quality class of A.
The Prospect Awards are the largest national mining awards, and recognise industry leaders in safety, technology and innovation. This year they will be held at Doltone House in Pyrmont, Sydney.
"It's fantastic to be recognised amongst other industry leaders for advanced technology that enables mining companies to become more environmentally sustainable by developing and installing practices that reduce the environmental impact of mining," said Michael Bambridge, Managing Director, CST Wastewater Solutions.
"FAST® systems are particularly convenient, because the entire system can be built into a standard shipping container. This helped enormously with the remote location of this project." he said.
The Class A performance means the water can be recycled for processes around the site, in accord with the company's ethos of improving quality of life and effectively managing impacts.
The successful installation at this mine (which cannot be named for commercial confidentiality reasons) follows previous successful installations globally at remote locations such as mining and energy installations and commercial and recreational facilities operating in areas where water is a precious shared resource and where there may be water quality issues.
"The plant arrives on site essentially as a complete system requiring only a concrete pad and some relatively minor mechanical and electrical works. Class A effluent is achieved by the addition of a filter and UV sterilisation after the FAST® system," said Bambridge.
One of the FAST® systems installed is used for the plant workshop, which has a maximum daily flow of 110m3. The second system is installed at the village, for the camp and accommodation block, which has a maximum daily flow of 345m3.
Not only does the system achieve higher loading rates within a smaller footprint, but effluent produced can be recycled into suitable industrial, public facility and commercial processes.
"The FAST® system allows this major entity to reuse the effluent water for dust suppression and lubrication water, which helps with their environmental footprint," says Bambridge.
"The modular format of the FAST® System also allows an easy bolt on for any expansion in workforce. For any future major increase of staff numbers, it is a simple matter of adding another FAST® 20-foot Module. Each system is designed to handle an increase of approximately 200 workers. This could be incorporated in the design," he said.
"The FAST® System has been proven over a long period of time as being a very robust and simple system to operate. It is very reliable because its stable process withstands hydraulic shocks and the bacteria are not washed out into the environment. It is simple to operate and requires no daily operator maintenance, which results in low annual maintenance costs."
"Ease of operation and optimum reliability is very important in remote areas where service contractors and skilled operators can be expensive and in short supply.
FAST® systems have had other strong successes in the mining and resources industries over the years. One example is when CST Wastewater Solutions supplied and installed a FAST unit for Newcrest's Cadia Valley Operations (CVO) in NSW to purify human and other waste water and enable it to be recycled on-site.
The treatment system, is part of CVO's ongoing program to maximise community benefits flowing from a project that will include Australia's largest underground mine and the world's fourth largest gold mine.
FAST® achieves nutrient removal for applications containing high level of nitrogen, a water pollutant that has increased significantly in industrial, commercial and municipal applications and which is an environmental concern particularly to resources, engineering, construction, hospitality, marine, agribusiness and public facility and water and waste water infrastructure organisations.
Proven in thousands of installations worldwide, FAST® consists of tankage packed with completely submerged media. The FAST® media creates a high surface area-to-volume ratio, which, combined with internal settling zones, maintains constant bacterial growth during low-flow and peak usage periods typical of many remote installations. This results in stable operation on a daily basis.
"Simple operation and maintenance means no daily operator requirements and very little annual plant maintenance," says Bambridge, whose company's installations of the FAST system have been proven in Australian applications including: Anglo, Alcoa, BHP-Billiton, Blair Athol Coal, Cadia Gold, Dampier Salt and Glencore. Further installations have been completed for the Central Coast Grammar School, CSIRO, Hunter District Water, Kiama Municipal Council, Lakeside Leisure Park and Berowra Waters Marina.
FAST® system features and benefits include:
- Modular design & construction.
- Low sludge production.
- No moving parts, except for an air blower that provides oxygen while circulating the liquid.
- Requires little maintenance, with no daily operator requirements and very little annual plant maintenance.
- Robust and reliable performance, in terms of the process. The fixed media through which the wastewater circulates provides a high surface area-to-volume ratio, protecting against hydraulic shock loads.