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Australia: Engineering Veolia, Urban Utilities to Develop Maiden Anammox Wastewater Treatment Unit in Australia

Editor: Ahlam Rais

Beneficial for the wastewater treatment industry, the Anita Mox treatment plant makes use of the Anammox bacteria to break down nitrogen in wastewater. Veolia Water Technologies and Urban Utilities are expected to install Asia Pacific’s first full-scale sidestream plant in 2020.

Once completed, the project is expected to save up to 500,000 dollars per year in operational costs at the Anita Mox treatment plant.
Once completed, the project is expected to save up to 500,000 dollars per year in operational costs at the Anita Mox treatment plant.
(Source: Deposit Photos)

Australia – Veolia Water Technologies and Urban Utilities are working to install Asia Pacific’s first full-scale sidestream Anita Mox treatment plant this year. A first-of-its-kind in Australia, this organic and environmentally-focused technology is an exciting development for the wastewater treatment industry.

Construction is scheduled to commence later this year at Urban Utilities’ Luggage Point Resource Recovery Centre in Brisbane. Once completed, the project is expected to save up to 500,000 dollars per year in operational costs at the plant. The two companies have worked together to develop the first full scale Anita Mox project in Australia, which uses the Anammox bacteria to break down nitrogen in wastewater, requiring less energy and chemicals than traditional treatment processes.

“We are delighted to partner with Urban Utilities to introduce the Anita Mox solution in Australia,” commented Karen Shaw, Client Manager, Municipal – Australia & New Zealand, Veolia Water Technologies. “This development signals a new chapter for the wastewater treatment industry in Australia and offers other municipal service providers the opportunity to see the positive impact this innovative and environmentally-friendly solution can bring to their treatment plants.” The new sidestream plant at the Luggage Point Resource Recovery Centre will be used to treat 1ML per day of high-ammonia sludge concentrate produced by the plant’s main treatment processes.

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Peter Donaghy, General Manager, Treatment and Production, Urban Utilities, shared that the company had been researching the use of Anammox bacteria with the University of Queensland’s Advanced Water Management Centre for more than 10 years.

He added, “Based on our preliminary research and work to develop Anammox bacteria seed, we made a decision in 2015 to work with Veolia to grow Anammox bugs into a booming farm at our Innovation Centre. This project is a great example of taking a new and innovative approach, and making it part of our daily operations to help us cut costs, increase treatment capacity at the plant, and benefit the environment at the same time.”

Traditional wastewater treatment produces a liquid by-product with high nitrogen loads, which is returned to the head of the plant for treatment. This process contributes significantly to the plant’s operating costs and requires a costly carbon addition and electricity for aeration. In contrast, the Anita Mox solution is a robust, single-stage ammonia and total nitrogen removal biofilm process that utilises Anammox bacteria, offering a chemical-free treatment process that requires much less energy.

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As the Anammox bacterium cannot be imported into Australia, the sidestream plant at Luggage Point will operate as a biofarm, making it possible for Veolia to harvest the seeds for use in future Anita Mox projects within Australia. Karen Shaw concluded, “With the plant’s Anita Mox process well in place, our local customers can have immediate access to this new organic treatment process.”

The Anita Mox solution is ideal for municipal assets looking to reduce cost and increase operational efficiency, while meeting regulatory requirements on nitrogen concentrations in treated wastewater.

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