Western Treatment Plant Upgrade Projects Bundle

Current

Melbourne Water is planning to construct a major package of works at the Western Treatment Plant to reduce greenhouse gasses and ensure the continued reliability of Melbourne's sewer network.

The Western Treatment Plant currently treats approximately 530 megalitres of sewage per year in a lagoon-based system. We intend to construct a major package of works, including four projects, at the Western Treatment Plant knows as the WTP Bundle which will improve operations at the site.

The projects will have positive effects on the Western Treatment Plant, including reducing its generation of greenhouse gases, by improving the site’s solids treatment capacity. It is anticipated this will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 70,000 tonnes per year.

The Western Treatment Plant is also a Ramsar-listed site and home to various native flora and fauna and international migratory birds. Melbourne Water has obligations under both State and Commonwealth legislation, for management and operation of the site.

The four projects

The WTP Bundle will include the construction of four new key elements of the Western Treatment Plant including:

  • A new treatment plant – to reduce the pressure on existing treatment plants.  This will include the construction of three or four anaerobic digesters, with a height not expected to exceed 30 metres.
  • A sludge thickening system -   to minimise the water waste and thicken the biosolids, helping reduce the load on the existing lagoons
  • The relocation and enhancement of the existing food waste receival and treatment facility – to improve processing of liquid food waste to enable bioenergy production
  •  A sludge digestion and biogas handling systemto heat and convert a portion of all the collected sludges to create biogas for power generation. The remaining digested sludge is then sent for drying to condition it for commercial re-use.

The bundle of four projects will bring great benefits to Melbourne Water, and the wider community, including:

  • Diverting organic load away from the lagoons, returning them to a more sustainable mode of operation. This reduces the frequency of maintenance activities that require the removal of the covers and which result in the generation of odour.
  • Significantly reducing the level of contaminants in sludge, resulting in a cleaner biosolids product which will assist in enabling a broader range of re-use applications.
  • Reducing the generation of greenhouse gases, by improving the site’s solids treatment capacity. It is anticipated this will reduce annual greenhouse emissions by approximately 70,000 tonnes per year.
  • Diverting food waste from being discharged directly to sewer or to landfill to create renewable energy from biogas, supporting Melbourne Water’s carbon pledge and its commitment to a circular economy.

What to expect

The Western Treatment Plant bundle will include four projects within the plant site. The four projects will commence and finish relatively simultaneously. The works will be located at least 2.5 kilometres away from the nearest residents.

The four projects include construction of two new wastewater treatment plants, a sludge thickening system, a food waste bioenergy receival and treatment facility and an sludge digestion and biogas handling facility.

Like any major project, there will be some impacts associated with the projects bundle:

  • The community may notice an increase of truck traffic in the area due to the project. We encourage drivers to be aware of change in traffic conditions.
  • Most of the increase in traffic will be trucks coming off the freeway directly into the Western Treatment Plant.
  • There will also be the construction of three or four anaerobic digesters, with a height not expected to exceed 30 metres.

What’s happening and when

The project is currently in the planning and design stage. 

Works are planned to start in late 2022 and will be completed by mid-2026.

These dates may be subject to change as the planning and design stage progresses and as more information becomes available.

Contact us

    Started
     

    Project Design

    2022

    Not Started
     

    Construction commences

    Early 2023 

    Not Started
     

    Construction complete

    Mid 2026

    Last updated:
    25 March 2022