Sewer mining involves three basic steps:
- Extraction of raw sewage from an existing gravity or pressure sewer.
- Treatment of the raw sewage to produce recycled water.
- Return of the treatment by-products back to sewer where possible.
Unlike potable water and stormwater, recycled water from sewer mining is a largely “drought proof” source of water and is typically configured to produce water on demand. If there is no demand the sewage is not extracted and simply continues on down the sewer. High reticulation costs, normally associated with recycled water schemes, are avoided as the recycled water is produced at the point of use. The quality of the recycled water produced from sewer mining can be customised for any end use such as unrestricted irrigation, process water for industrial uses, cooling tower make-up and toilet flushing. When used for irrigation the treatment process can be configured to retain nutrients in the recycled water which are beneficial for plant / turf growth. Experience has shown that nutrients in the recycled water can reduce the consumption of manufactured fertilisers by up to 90%.
Permeate Partners has been actively involved in the establishment of the sewer mining industries in Australia. Our greatest strength is the application of operational knowledge from plants like Pennant Hills to the investigation and procurement of sewer mining facilities.