Parkes Sewage Treatment Plant
The new Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) began processing the town's wastewater on Monday 7 July 2017 and was officially opened on 21 March 2018.
The new plant uses an aerobic biological process that removes nutrients, organic, and inorganic compounds from the wastewater. The treatment uses oxygen and specialised bacteria to breakdown the organic components from the wastewater, producing a high quality effluent that is suitable for a range of reuse applications and environmental discharge.
The new Sewage Treatment Plant provides a range of benefits to the community including; reduction of odours, improvements in effluent quality, and increased operational efficiency. The plant operates with a high level of automation which supports remote monitoring, substantially reduce day-to-day manual handling. The automation also optimises energy efficiency, and coupled with the site's 107 kWp PV (solar) panels, the plant's ongoing energy costs are sustainable.
The upgrade also increases capacity; the new plant is a 15,000 EP (equivalent people) treatment plant, which can be upgraded to 20,000 EP to accommodate population growth.
The state-of-the-art facility was constructed by contractor John Holland at a cost of $27.5 million. The NSW Government contributed just over $9.44 million through the Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program, representing 38% of the cost.
The new STP is located on Akuna Road, Parkes. It replaces the 80 year-old Parkes Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) on Nash Street, which was constructed in 1936. Council's newest asset will provide Parkes with reliable, robust, and sustainable wastewater management into the future.
To maximise the value of the construction of both the water and sewage treatment plant projects for its community, Council used unique and progressive tendering methods not usually undertaken by local government. Council used the Early Contractor Involvement process, followed by developing a framework in line with NSW Government procurement policy. This process has allowed Council to be confident of the price of the projects and deliver a saving of $8m, as risks of project have already been mitigated.
Parkes Shire Council is also working in partnership with the contractor, John Holland, to achieve a sustainability rating for both the water and sewage treatment plant projects through the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA).
The ISCA rating scheme offers a voluntary sustainability performance evaluation of the planning, design, construction and operation of all infrastructure asset classes. To date, only two water treatment facilities and one sewage treatment plant have been certified under the scheme. Our projects have been registered to pursue Infrastructure Sustainability as Built and Operation ratings. The projects will be tracked collaboratively throughout construction and commissioning and the costs of pursuing the rating will be shared between Council and the contractor. Accordingly a joint sustainability policy and a joint sustainability management plan have been developed for the combined projects.