Protecting health and the environment, sewage systems are a critical aspect of everyday life. SA Water is a leader in sewage treatment. Every year they manage and treat millions of litres of sewage for South Australians.
SA Water’s three major metropolitan wastewater treatment plants at Bolivar, Glenelg and Christies Beach process more than 250 megalitres of sewage every day. That's about five full baths every second.
Established in 1966, the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is the largest of the three plants, treating approximately 70 per cent of metropolitan Adelaide’s wastewater and serving approximately one million customers. The treatment process recycles the treated water as well as the organic material that comes out of the water.
With a continued effort to always make their best better, SA Water invests in new technologies to keep treatment plants running reliably and improve quality and throughput.
The original parts of the Bolivar treatment plant, such as the pumping and power stations and inlet works, were built approximately 45 years ago. As such, the equipment was reaching its end of useful life and a comprehensive and staged upgrade of the SCADA, PLC and communication networks was ultimately required for the entire plant.
Out with the old and in with the new
The Bolivar catchment covers an extensive area, with 156 pumping stations connected to the treatment plant though a series of gravity and rising mains. It is designed to treat an annual average flow of 165 ML/day and a peak wet weather flow of 500 ML/day.
Critical infrastructure, such as the Bolivar WWTP, needs to be in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This requirement makes downtime, as a result of equipment failure, a situation that is best avoided. Upgrading legacy equipment at the plant was a priority project that required a staged approach.
SAGE Automation was contracted by SA Water to upgrade the site facilities. Barry Higham, senior project manager, SAGE Automation, stated that as a first step, design workshops were conducted to assess the current functionality and then establish what was required moving forward. The workshops also provided a valuable opportunity to help establish a collaborative culture within the integrated team, which lent itself to an outcome-focused solution.