Wastewater solution in a shipping container for Macadamias Australia

Aerofloat (Australia) Pty Ltd

Tuesday, 02 February, 2021

Wastewater solution in a shipping container for Macadamias Australia

Macadamias Australia wanted a wastewater solution to meet production growth at its northern Queensland farm. However, the company required minimal site installation time and a structure to withstand harsh Queensland weather. Through innovative design and forward thinking, Aerofloat ensured a quick installation and a low-cost solution for Macadamias Australia using a shipping container.

The construction of a new processing facility for Macadamias Australia meant increased wastewater flows. The existing system managed wastewater flows from the cleaning of nuts and vegetables at the plant but was insufficient to meet the changes in production growth.The changes also included a diversification in the food types being produced at the site.

The existing wastewater treatment system was designed to pump effluent into an evaporation lagoon, where bacteria would complete the treatment process. The increased flows at the site meant that the lagoon would not be sufficient to treat the increased wastewater.

The company therefore required a new wastewater treatment system to meet the business growth. Aerofloat was brought on to upgrade the site to ensure it met council standards.

Aerofloat’s team designed and built a dissolved air flotation (AeroDAF) system for the macadamia processing facility, incorporating its innovative, patented technology.

The system was designed to remove suspended solids, reduce the BOD and correct the wastewater pH to ensure the outgoing wastewater reached the evaporation lagoon standards set by the council.

Aerofloat’s General Manager, Michael Anderson, said the unique design process was rewarding for both the Aerofloat team and Macadamias Australia.

“Our Aerofloat team custom-built the system inside a 20-foot HQ shipping container at our Sydney warehouse, which minimised site installation time and costs for Macadamias Australia. It also provided a neat solution that our team could easily ship to Bundaberg as soon as they were ready for installation,” said Anderson.

Aerofloat installed its AeroDAF 100 unit inside the shipping container and added a 25,000 L balance tank outside to meet the increased flow at the site. The system included pH correction and air mixing, a rotary drum screen (to remove any solids such as macadamia nut husks from the wastewater), a sludge tank with air mixing and an automated poly skid. The system also included a chemical dosing board, effluent pH testing and a correction unit, helping to ensure Macadamias Australia would be compliant with the local council’s regulations.

The shipping container was carefully fitted out to meet the harsh Queensland climate. The screen was added on a mezzanine on the roof of the container, and air conditioning was installed to ensure all system components were kept at the recommended temperature for optimal operation. The container was also insulated using BONDOR panelling and the floor was rendered chemical-resistant using Phenoline (a paint-like material often used to line the inside of large tanks).

Remote monitoring was installed on the system to enable data flow between Macadamias Australia’s operators and Aerofloat’s engineers. This also allowed Aerofloat’s engineering team to do initial system commissioning remotely.

Aerofloat was able to install its wastewater system at the Bundaberg site, thanks to clever pre-planning and innovative use of a shipping container to house the main system.

A short video of how Aerofloat built the treatment plant inside a shipping container.

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