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Future Proofing Sludge Management

Are you concerned by the increasing costs of sludge disposal?


There is an economic incentive to reduce or even eliminate the volume of sludge produced by an industrial wastewater treatment plant. The best way to manage this sludge is primarily driven by the cost of offsite disposal versus the capital expense of a complete sludge management plant.

High liquid sludge disposal costs are increasingly justifying the capital expense for many industries to move from a simple to more complete sludge management process. In many areas of Australia, the cost to dispose of pumpable liquid sludge will soon increase again due to changing legislation, a reduction in the available destinations for many types of sludge and increasing transport costs. In some instances, liquid sludge disposal to land injection facilities may not be an option at all.

There are many ways to manage and dewater sludge to minimise the volumes that need to be taken offsite. The most appropriate solution depends upon the type of industrial wastewater and treatment process that produced the sludge, the volumes, and the sites appetite for hands-on operation versus automation.

Process improvements can also be made to sites that prefer to maintain a liquid sludge but want to reduce the volume as much as possible. Disc and Drum Thickeners and even basic conical tanks with manual or automatic decant mechanisms are lower cost options that enable a reduction in volume. Plus, they allow for installation of one of the sludge management options noted above in the future.

Decanting the water from a sludge tank can reduce the volumes by up to 50%, and Disc and Drum Thickeners can achieve reductions up to 75% volume reductions. Complete sludge management can achieve reductions as high as 95%.

The team at Hydroflux have extensive experience working through the options that are available including:

  • Chamber Filter Press – typically best suited for free draining slurries like those found in mineral or inorganic sludges.
  • Belt Filter Press – also good for slurries and Waste Activated Sludge (WAS). These typically produce the wettest sludge of the dewatering options.
  • Centrifuge – a high energy option that can be applied to most applications.
  • Sludge Press – a low energy option also suitable for most applications that achieves similar results to the high energy input centrifuges.

This first step in future proofing your sites sludge management starts with understanding your future costs. A simple conversation with your current waste transporter on predicted cost increases could highlight that you need to act soon so that you have something in place before the costs go up.

For more information on how Hydroflux Industrial can help with your Sludge Dewatering, please click here.

About the Hydroflux Group
The Hydroflux Group comprises eleven companies based in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, and the UK, providing design and build, equipment, processes and operational services in water and wastewater treatment. Hydroflux Industrial specialises in industrial wastewater treatment including designing and constructing plants and supplying equipment across all sectors. Hydroflux Industrial is a member of the Hydroflux Group.

Hydroflux Industrial NZ Ltd
Level 26, PwC Tower, 188 Quay St
Auckland 1010 New Zealand
P +64 9 352 2052
[email protected]