Hold your nose: odour may rise during waste plant work

REFURBISHMENT work on the Aubinville Waste Water Treatment Plant in Maryborough may increase odours, the council is warning.

Wide Bay Water Corporation executive manager assets and engineering Trevor Dean said aerial antibacterial sprays would be used to minimise the impact on the surrounding residential area.

He said work to refurbish the primary digester was scheduled to start on March 10 and was expected to take 12 weeks to complete, weather permitting.

"During the first half of the project there may be an increase in odour as well as an increase in traffic movements to and from the plant," Mr Dean said.

"Waste removal trucks will operate only between 7.30am and 5pm from Monday to Friday and truck movements will be kept to two per hour."

He said the primary digester was a 1.5 mega-litre tank with a floating steel roof and inside the biosolids removed from the waste water were subjected to anaerobic (in the absence of air) digestion by millions of microbes to reduce the amount of material.

Mr Dean said the material that would be removed during the refurbishment would be trucked to Wide Bay Water's plantation at Four Mile where it would be dried, composted and used as a soil conditioner.

"This is the first stage of an ongoing refurbishment program for the Maryborough waste water treatment system," he said.

"We apologise in advance if the work does lead to an increase in odours but will do everything we can to minimise any nuisance."

The $1.2 million project includes:

  • Removal of old and broken equipment and solids built up inside the digester
  • Repairs to the concrete tank and floating steel roof
  • Installation of new mixing equipment, biogas collection system and a biogas-fuelled boiler to keep the digester at its optimal operating temperature.

"The new mixing and heating systems will substantially improve the efficiency of the digester, reducing the amount of biosolids produced and the instance of odorous gas emissions," Mr Dean said.

"The primary digester was built in the 1940s and this is the second time that it has been refurbished.

"It was last refurbished in 1977."