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10 November 2023

The wastewater you flush down your toilet is probably not something you’d ever think about. 

It’s received at the Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) in Epsom, which helps to treat all incoming wastewater each day from Bendigo’s 110,000 residents.  

Bendigo’s population is expected to reach 200,000 by 2050, and the Bendigo WRP will continue to be a vital piece of infrastructure for our communities.   

Acting Bendigo WRP Program Director Cameron Patrick said a key part of the plant’s treatment process is 24 large aerators.  

“If you can imagine a series of large motorised mixing blades submerged in tanks, these are the aerators. Their job is to churn and mix the wastewater shortly after its arrival at the plant.   

“The aerators promote aerobic digestion – as they churn up the water, they introduce oxygen to the tanks, which helps the biological treatment process,” Mr Patrick said.   

Eighteen of the 24 aerators are due for replacement, having reached the end of their 10-year lifespan.   

“This work started on 8 November and is being carried out over 12 days by a specialist team of divers. 

“We replaced six aerators in August last year, so we’re now focused on the remainder so they can continue to serve the plant into the future,” Mr Patrick said.   

The dive team will build a scaffold which can be lowered into the wastewater tanks by a 50-tonne crane, to allow access to the aerators.  

Divers can then take the weight off the aerators, remove the bolts, and commence the replacement work.   

“The amazing thing is, the replacement work is done completely by feel. The water is not clear so these divers are under the water without visibility.  

“We have a strict safety management process that we’ll be adhering to during these works,” Mr Patrick said.   

Coliban Water has several large-scale infrastructure upgrades planned – including further works at the Bendigo WRP. This is part of the Big Water Build to underpin the region’s prosperity.  

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Last updated on 10 Nov 2023
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