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Goulburn Valley Water

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Alexandra desludging project moves to stage 2

23 March 2018

Goulburn Valley Water has been undertaking desludging works at the Alexandra Wastewater Management Facility (WMF) over the last six weeks.

Desludging is necessary to remove the sludge that builds up slowly at a WMF. Sludge is solid waste that bacteria produce when breaking down the wastewater. These solids settle to the bottom of the lagoon and form a sludge deposit. The sludge builds up and reduces the capacity of the treatment facility to effectively treat the wastewater and can cause odour. After 5 - 20 years of operation (depending on the location) GVW remove the sludge to reduce these odours and reinstate the capacity of the lagoon.

Wastewater and Recycling Coordinator, Stuart Harris, would like thank the Alexandra community for their patience over the last 6 weeks whilst desludging of the wastewater treatment lagoons has been undertaken. Stating that “residents will be pleased to know that the desludging of the lagoons has finished and we are now moving into the drying phase, which will take place over the next 4-6 weeks”.

The sludge, having been removed from the treatment lagoons, has been spread out over six of the WMF irrigation bays to dry. The air drying process is expected to take 4 to 6 weeks to complete depending on the weather conditions. Once dried the sludge becomes biosolids which will be stockpiled in a dedicated area for up to 3 years before been reused as a soil conditioner to improve soil fertility.

During the desludging process GVW has been monitoring air quality and regularly auditing the site to ensure the project is completed in a safe, timely and environmentally acceptable manner. During the works an odour supressing spray system was installed to mask the odour from the sludge. Tutti-fruity odour supression units were strategically placed around sludge drying area to mask the odour.


Crane moving the dredger into lagoon 3 at Alexandra WMF.
Dredger desludging lagoon 5 at Alexandra WMF
Drying sludge in Irrigation bays Alexandra WMF