Sewage Treatment Systems for Remote Mine Site Accommodation Camps

January 20, 2020

Every mine site in remote locations that houses their workers in residential style camps need safe and efficient sewage treatment. However, there are often extreme environmental conditions due to their remote location.

Most mines in Australia are located in sensitive environments with shared water resources. Sensitivity can be based on cultural or economic aspects of the surrounding environment. For example, water assests such as the Great Artesian Basin and the Murray Darling Basin that are accessed by multiple users including traditional land owners.

Mines must incorporate water treatment solutions that are efficient, contribute to urban, pastoral water or natural supplies, allow for ecological restoration and include monitoring. They must also take into account fluctuations in water supply and varying contaminants.

Historically, sewage treatment discharge was only cleaned for release to a local creek. Now, the treatment quality is so high that 100% of effluent can be used to flush toilets, water gardens and wash laundry.

Hydroflux Epco have been installing the RoadTrain® in the mining industry since the 1960s and are still installing upgraded versions of them today. Customising solutions to adapt to the number of people in camp, the surrounding conditions, local water supplies and reserves as well as potential contaminants.

An early example is on the Blackwater lease for BHP Mitsubishi Alliance in 1978. Six welded Roadtrains were spread across 40 km of land. Hydroflux Epco have added equipment and technologies to these plants over the years to complement the base structure and maintain modern compliance. Compliance requirements from those early days have changed significantly. The setup were also relocatable as mining operations have migrated along the coal seam. There are many economic advantages to being able to re-use instead of replacing an asset over time.

Scalability is also an economic advantage. As an example, a RoadTrain package was set up in the Bowen Basin coal mine in central Queensland by Hydroflux Epco for a capacity of 400 people in the 1970s and after a series of relocations and upgrades it could accommodate up to 800 people in 2012.

Today, pre-fabricated systems are available and can be simply bolted to a concrete slab. They arrive to site in a flat pack system reducing logistical issues for sites with minimal road access or absence of cranes. This was the case for a bolted Roadtrain® that was installed at Moro village within the Oilsearch mining lease in the Papua New Guinea southern highlands in 2015.

See image of RoadTrain® installed in the 1960s and more recently…

Hydroflux Epco can design, build, install and refurbish sewage treatment plants for mining site accommodation camps and also provide ongoing support and maintenance of your installation.

For more information on Hydroflux Epco’s RoadTrain® please click here.

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