The Dungog Wastewater Treatment Plant in the Hunter Region of New South Wales has recently undergone a $28 million upgrade, providing local residents with a modernised plant. Keeping the plant operational during the upgrade was a unique challenge that required an innovative solution.

The Dungog Wastewater Treatment Plant was first commissioned in 1938, and acquired by Hunter Water from Dungog Shire Council in 2008. This plant services a township of just over 2,000 residents north of Newcastle and is located in the middle of dairy and timber country.

It was recently determined that upgrades were required to replace the plant’s aging infrastructure, but Hunter Water determined that the plant needed to remain operational during the upgrade process. Critical to the ongoing operation of the plant was the supply of two self-bunded chemical tanks with a dosing system.

These tanks, supplied by Polymaster, played a critical role in ensuring wastewater continued to be treated during the build. According to Hunter Water Managing Director Darren Cleary, the major upgrade has provided the community with improved water quality, while also helping to deliver better environmental outcomes.

Maintaining wastewater treatment

The project brief was to build a temporary plant off to the side of the existing plant while the client demolished the old plant and built a modern facility without disrupting the treatment plant. One critical component was the dosing of sodium hydroxide into the wastewater.

The build team required a complete solution they could connect and turn on without building unnecessary infrastructure around it, which ultimately would need to be torn down in the new build. With any new build, there are complexities that need to be thought through. This particular design team had an added challenge of ‘shoe-horning’ a new plant on the same site as the existing plant, which had to remain operational at all times.

Polymaster provided two 30kL self-bunded chemical tanks with a dosing system to help dose sodium hydroxide into the wastewater. A fully integrated dosing system was housed within each cabinet of the 30kL self-bunded tanks.

As sodium hydroxide is suitable for Polymaster’s polyethylene tanks, it was a perfect solution. The designers provided Polymaster with a detailed piping and instrumentation diagram for the dosing system to ensure they received a system that ideally suited their application.

Polymaster’s self-bunded tanks comply with AS3780 (bund capacity of 110 per cent), so the installation crew did not require the expensive and unnecessary construction of a concrete bund.

Ultimately, the end solution Polymaster provided was a cost-effective and efficient one – saving both time and money. In addition, the installers were able to connect the turnkey system with minimal on-site works, enabling the plant to operate continually.

The Dungog plant is now complete, and Polymaster is pleased to have played a small but crucial part in keeping the operation humming along during the build. The plant is a showpiece of modern technology and innovative design.

Dungog Wastewater Treatment Plant

Polymaster scope of work

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