A breakthrough Australian invented water treatment technology used at Ferrero Australia’s Lithgow facility, has won the prestigious Australian Water Association, NSW Water Award for Infrastructure Project Innovation. The Australian developed and patented technology known as BioGill, uses Mother Nature to clean wastewater in an eco-friendly and highly effective way.
Akheel Soltan, BioGill’s Divisional Manager Wastewater Engineering (left), accepts the award.
Commenting on the award win, a Ferrero Australia spokesman said, “Sustainability is an integral part of our business ethos and this water treatment system is both good for the environment and good for the bottom line, delivering better quality water and a reduction in wastewater tariffs.”
An international standard to measure water quality is to monitor Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) levels. BOD is generally greater in high sugar wastewater and can be a costly challenge to manage. Across the western world as water authorities tighten regulation and push up tariffs, the trend is for companies to treat and reduce their BOD load onsite.
Ferrero’s search for a solution led them to BioGill. This Australian based biotechnology company manufactures above ground, attached growth bioreactors that use microorganisms to treat wastewater in a highly effective, low cost and low carbon way.
“Following a successful pilot project, nine BioGill bioreactors were retrofitted to our existing wastewater treatment process,” said the spokesman who added. “Wastewater is pumped to the top of the BioGill units and gravity fed down special membranes with microorganisms, Nature’s best recyclers, growing on the membranes and feeding off the nutrients in the wastewater.”
Nine BioGill treatment units are housed in an insulated biochamber
In operation for more than fifteen months, the BioGill system is delivering BOD reductions within the regulatory requirements. Ferrero Australia is the first food manufacturing company in the world to implement a full-sized BioGill water treatment solution. The project is now entered into the national Water Awards to be presented at ozwater’16 in May.
In congratulating Ferrero, John West, Executive Chairman and Founder of BioGill, praised Ferrero on its pro-innovation approach and acknowledged the company’s support of new, Australian-invented technology.