Ballina's mayor, Cr David Wright, with the bank of solar panels powering the Ballina wastewater treatment plant. Photo Graham Broadhead / Ballina Shire Advocate
Ballina's mayor, Cr David Wright, with the bank of solar panels powering the Ballina wastewater treatment plant. Photo Graham Broadhead / Ballina Shire Advocate Graham Broadhead

Ballina leads the way in wastewater treatment plants

STATE-of-the-art wastewater treatment plants at Ballina and Lennox Head are a leading-edge example of Ballina Shire Council’s commitment to providing the services and infrastructure necessary for the future growth of the Shire, according to a council media release.

Recently, council announced the Ballina and Lennox Head treatment plants, responsible for recycled water services starting in July 2016, are also paving the way for maximum electricity savings.

Water and Wastewater Manager, Tim Mackney, said both treatment plants boast leading edge engineering that ensures high volume treatment of water and wastewater through energy efficiency and the usage of solar power.

“The Ballina and Lennox Head treatment plants are essential infrastructure for the delivery of water, wastewater and recycled water services to cater for the Shire’s growing population,” he said.

“Millions of dollars have been spent on planning, designing and constructing highly-specialised plants, and the electricity and power systems at them.

“Being able to realise savings through electricity costs has put us in a position to pass on those savings to our water customers.

“Recycled water will be supplied at about 80% of the usual water rate and for those who use the service this will mean savings off their water charges.”

In December 2014, Ballina Wastewater Treatment Plant switched on 1200 solar panels – believed to be the largest bank of solar panels in regional NSW – as part of a major upgrade to the Ballina Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“It is understood the Ballina Wastewater Treatment Plant was the first wastewater treatment plant in Australia to commission new inverters for solar energy,” Mr Mackney said.

“At full capacity, the solar system at Ballina Wastewater Treatment Plant generates savings off the plant’s power bill of around $10,000 a month, with the electricity bills having reduced from around $35,000 to $40,000 per month to $25,000.

“The system produces 466,000 kiloWatt hours per year, which equates to substantially reduced carbon dioxide emissions each year.” This is a dollar saving in excess of $100,000 per annum.



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