Australian company Aerofloat has developed unique technology for the treatment of sewage from mining campsites for populations of up to 2000 people.

 

The technology has been successfully used in more than 500 sewage plants around Australia.

 

Mining companies struggle to effectively meet sewage treatment demands with fluctuating populations at mining camps.

 

Aerofloat offers a suite of systems that treat both sewage and greywater within the mining camps regardless of changes in population size.

 

For example, the AeroSBR (Sequence Batch Reactor) produces a high-quality effluent which includes nitrogen removal and is easy to operate and maintain.

 

The treated sewage is disinfected using liquid chlorine and the effluent is suitable for irrigation of lawns and gardens around the campsite.

 

Unlike many competitors, the AeroSBR sewage treatment technology does not use membrane technologies – such as membrane bio-reactors (MBRs), which typically require regular chemical cleaning and periodic replacement due to membrane blockage. Furthermore, the AeroSBR can be custom-sized, is easy to maintain, compact and above all, affordable.

 

National Mining Chronicle spoke with Aerofloat Managing Director Ray Anderson, who has been involved in the water industry for over 50 years.

 

“There is a definite need for better control over sewage management in the mining industry,” Mr Anderson said.

 

“Many systems we see in use across Australia are outdated and don’t respond favourably to changes in population at mining sites.”

 

At the core of Aerofloat’s innovative product suite is its patented aeration technology which allows the systems to be easily maintained and allows the air di users to be checked whilst the plant is in operation.

 

Aero oat is able to install simple program logic controllers (PLC ) and human machine interfaces (HMI) with optional remote monitoring capability so engineers can assist local operators with plant operation regardless of their location.

 

“The Aerofloat system is easy to operate and comes with the added benefit of having the option of remote monitoring by our team when required – something that is critically important when dealing with remote mining sites,” Mr Anderson said.

 

Aerofloat says it is crucial there is uninterrupted processing of sewage to ensure a stable biological sewage treatment process.

 

A strong understanding of the biological activity within the plant is also key.

 

“Aerofloat engineers pride themselves on many years of experience in the sewage treatment market to ensure simple aspects such as nitrogen removal and a suitably sized aerated hydraulic balance tank is always at the core of any design,” Mr Anderson said.

 

“Furthermore, the standard cylindrical industrial-grade polyethylene tanks are easily transported to site.

 

“This portability means the sewage treatment plants can be easily moved from site to site – imperative to many mining industry sites.

 

“The standard Aerofloat design is to use multiple tanks for the larger plants to allow for easy turndown of the volume of water to be processed as the population at the campsites vary.

 

“SBRs are commonly seen across Australian mine sites and with Aero oat’s new and improved take on the technology with its patented aeration system, the continuous improvement of the AeroSBR ensures the client is receiving the latest technology on the market.

 

“With remote monitoring capabilities, process simplicity, robustness and competitive pricing we are con dent the Aerofloat technology will be used in many mine campsites in the future.”

 

Image: The Ausco 300 EP mine site layout.