A Sustainable, Green Wicket At The MCG

As
part of a multi-million-dollar project to build Victoria’s largest underground
recycled water treatment plant at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), CAPS
Australia supplied air blowers for the unique facility.

The Yarra Park MCG Water Recycling
Facility is a Class A water treatment facility built on the doorstep of the
iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, and CAPS supplied four positive
displacement (PD) blowers which are used to aerate the water during treatment
and to provide backwash to clean membrane filters. The lead contractor for the
project, Tenix, supplied process, mechanical, civil, electrical,
instrumentation and control design and construction.

The
water treatment plant produces 600 kilolitres of ‘Class A’ recycled water each
day. This water is used to irrigate the Yarra Park reserve, Richmond Football
Club’s ”Punt Road Oval”, and for cleaning and flushing the toilets at the MCG.
The plant has worked to reduce
the MCG’s potable water usage by up to 50%, effectively removing it from the
list of Melbourne’s top 100 water users.

According
to Daniel Haworth, Tenix Operations Supervisor for the MCG Recycled Water
Treatment Plant the blower solution had to fit in a very constrained narrow space.
“Service access in our bunker is difficult, but the solution recommended by
CAPS‚Äîwith maintenance access via top and front panels‚Äîfitted our site’s needs
perfectly,” Haworth said. “Another service feature of the blowers that we
really appreciate is the inclusion of an automatic belt tensioning system which
increased the operational time between servicing.”

Serving
as a benchmark for the water industry across Australia, the MCG treatment plant
is the largest of its type in Victoria and provides a sustainable source of
water for irrigation well into the future. A major requirement was to not
disturb the aesthetics of the existing parklands or reduce current parking
availability. Operationally, the plant has taken the best of traditional, new
and developing technology and located it all in a small footprint underground
facility that can be easily operated and maintained at a manageable cost.

“In
the MCG plant, two CAPS positive displacement blowers are in operation 24 hours
a day, with two in standby mode,” explained Paolo Lazzari, National Manager For
Compressed Air Products for CAPS. The
underground plant is contained in a 12 by 4.8 metre diameter pumping station
bored into the ground adjacent to the MCG, within the Yarra Park Reserve.

Innovative
construction techniques using fibre-reinforced plastic for walkways reduced
construction time as they could be cut to size on site and were much lighter
than traditional metal construction materials. Associated infrastructure on the
inlet side includes the sewer connection, diversion chamber and a rising main.
Other infrastructure includes connections under the concourse to a pre-existing
storage tank beneath the MCG. There are also connections to Punt Road storage,
a pump station and sludge return gravity line downstream of the sewerage
takeoff.

The
water treatment involves screening and grit removal, biological treatment of
the sewage and addition of chemicals to remove phosphate. Filtration methods used
include membrane bioreactor (MBR) and ultrafiltration (UF) membrane systems.
Disinfection of the water is by both ultraviolet (UV) and chlorination.

Lazzari
is proud that CAPS could provide a unique solution to meet the needs of this
ground-breaking project. “Blowers are a common part of water treatment systems
but it is unusual for them to be located in a bunker. Our blowers were the
right equipment to meet the specific project requirements,” he said. 

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