Airservices new water recycling plant will slash water use

12 Nov 2014

Airservices Australia will save more than 30 million litres of drinking water each year, following the commissioning of a water recycling plant at its hot fire training ground facility in Melbourne.

The new high-tech water treatment plant recycles 100 per cent of the water used for fire fighting training at the facility and treats the water to a higher standard than that required by the Australian Guidelines for recycled fire fighting water.

As the only provider of aviation rescue fire fighting (ARFF) services in Australia, Airservices uses its major ARFF training ground approximately 48 weeks each year and fire fighting training can require up to 140 000 litres a day.

The water recycling plant discharges any additional water that is treated and not used as clean water into the sewer. Before the water recycling plant was operational, Airservices drew water for training from Melbourne’s potable water supply.

“Airservices is committed to reducing its water consumption, as part of our mission to minimise the environmental effects of our operations, and this plant will result in a significant reduction in our potable water use in Melbourne,” Dr Rob Weaver, Executive General Manager, Safety, Environment and Assurance said.

“This plant treats up to 140 000 litres every 24 hours, which is equivalent to the annual water use of an average Melbourne household, according to Yarra Valley Water,” he said.

“The treatment processes are analysed online, around-the-clock and the plant will automatically shut down if water values exceed strict, set parameters.”

The bespoke treatment plant removes fire fighting contaminants from the water, including fire fighting foam and fuels, before processing it through five treatment processes for reuse.

The treatment process includes ozone filtration, which is usually restricted to treating conventional town drinking water.

Airservices ARFF training ground located at its Learning Academy in Melbourne is used to train new recruits as well as recertify our specialist aviation fire fighters. Airservices has more than 800 fire fighters stationed at 23 airports around Australia and the Melbourne facility is the largest fire fighting training ground of its type in the southern hemisphere.