Western Water is ‘wasting’ no time to discover more environmentally sustainable ways to generate electricity from waste.
The authority has built a mammoth futuristic-looking biodome that stores biogas captured from sewage treatment at Melton. The gas is then burned to produce electricity at the plant.
Half of the plant’s energy needs are being powered through the biodome, according
to Western Water’s acting managing director Rob Murphy. However, there are plans to entirely eradicate the plant’s dependence on fossil fuels.
As the population grows and the sewage tank is increased, the biodome will store more biogas to be burned as fuel.
Western Water is also working with its customers to collect organic waste as another fuel source and is considering installing solar panels at the plant.
“All that material is a valuable resource,” Mr Murphy said.
“It’s got energy stored in it – the biodome just releases that energy, so we can generate electricity.”
Construction on the biodome finished last month, and it’s part of an $11 million ‘digester’ project to be completed in the next few months.
The digester converts sewage into decomposed waste, which can be used as a fertiliser after further treatment.
The sewage is also converted into methane gas that is burned to produce electricity.
Western Water hopes to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions at least 10 per cent by 2025.