Worming around the waste

January 31, 2018

Booth Transport waste water treatment plant project manager Brendan Edwards.

In a first for Australia, Strathmerton company Booth Transport is using worms to purify water.

And the project is expected to create 77 jobs in Moira Shire.

Common in Chile, the technology allows the business to clean 125million litres of waste water a year, which comes from cleaning tankers and silos.

‘‘The water treatment facility we have will be known as a worm farm. Traditional methods are very costly, so using a worm farm is a cost-effective method by filtering for a start, then it will be sprayed onto the worms, where the worms will be eating the food, so the fats and proteins, then that will reduce the biological oxygen of that waste water,’’ plant manager Michael Banfield said.

‘‘It will then go through a desalination process, which remove the salts from that water.

‘‘That water can then be put back into the irrigation channel where the water can be reused for irrigation,’’ he said.

Project manager Brendan Edwards said it was obvious from the start of the plant waste water was going to be a problem.

‘‘As the plant was being built, waste water was going to be a hassle,’’ he said.

‘‘Bringing milk in is fine, but with all the cleaning and rinsing of the line it becomes a waste stream.

‘‘This waste stream (is what) we are now able to clean up and be able to reuse any as clean water,’’ he said.

Moira Shire mayor Libro Mustica said the project would allow the shire to attract more businesses to the region.

‘‘It will attract other businesses to the town,’’ he said.

‘‘We have the raw material within the Moira Shire to attract other companies and we want these companies to expand and grow.’’

The project was partly funded by the Sustainable Melbourne Fund.

More in Tuesday’s Country News.

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