A Good News Story – East Gippsland Water’s Methane Digester (20.8)

Gas dome at BWWTP

Gasholder with Methane Digester in right background

Recently a good news story has been hard to find. But a friend at the recent Bioenergy Forum in Traralgon found one in my own backyard. East Gippsland Water (EGW) are in the process of recommissioning an old methane digester as part of their sewage treatment plant in Bairnsdale. The plant is due to begin operating in a few months.

The plant will operate as a continuous digester and will use cogeneration and heat pumps to maintain a stable optimum digester temperature of about 35 degrees. The gas will be stored in a newly constructed gasholder and used to generate electricity for onsite use. There are plans for taking food waste from local food processors down the track to use as additional digester feed.

EGW are also adopting numerous energy efficiency projects and beginning to employ solar PVs on a large scale. They state that their waste water treatment plants and provide 100% recycled water for beneficial re-use. Fully treated fresh water re-enters the system at the top of Macleods Morass helping to keep the increasingly saline lake water at bay from entering the Morass.

EGW are certainly working in the right direction looking for win-win situations for energy use, efficiency and energy production. At least here sustainability is not ‘greenwash’ jargon. Their website is at http://www.egwater.vic.gov.au/