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Wodonga Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

Wodonga Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

Learn more about this project to increase the plant's capacity and reduce carbon emissions.

About this project

About this project

We're planning a major and innovative upgrade to Wodonga's wastewater treatment plant which will increase its capacity and reduce the amount of carbon emissions it produces.

The upgrade will lead to the more efficient and effective reuse of waste to create renewable energy which can be used behind the meter (to power the plant) or put back into the electricity grid.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will the upgrade consist of?

The upgrade will see the addition of new infrastructure that will allow high strength wastewater from industry to be diverted from existing treatment facilities and put through a more energy efficient process. This will free up capacity within the existing facilities to cater for the growth needs of Wodonga. The new processes will include covered anaerobic lagoons, biogas recovery and renewable electricity generation and post anaerobic treatment facilities to ensure treatment licence conditions are maintained.

What is Anaerobic treatment?

Anaerobic treatment uses biological processes where wastewater is broken down by microorganisms in the absence of oxygen. This process is much more energy efficient than our current treatment method. It also produces biogas (containing 60-70% methane) which is captured under the treatment lagoon covers. This biogas will be converted to renewable electricity that will be used to power the wastewater treatment plant. Any surplus energy will be sent to the electricity grid.

Has this process been used elsewhere in the treatment of wastewater?

Anaerobic treatment is a well-established treatment process suited to the treatment of waste water with high organic loads. The technology is simple and reliable and uses biological processes found in the natural environment and has been used in wastewater treatment for over 100-years. Typically, anaerobic treatment facilities are used at wastewater treatment plants that receive trade waste with high organic loads as is the case in Wodonga. Within Victoria there are a number of wastewater treatment plants that utilise anaerobic treatment, including at Shepparton, Colac and Melton.

How will the upgraded treatment plant benefit the community?

A major outcome of this upgrade is to ensure that we continue to provide treatment capacity for the growing needs of Wodonga while ensuring ongoing environmental compliance with water treatment standards.

Major benefits include:

  • Supporting the region’s future residential growth and increased industrial capacity
  • Leading innovative solutions to support reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Generating renewable energy to power our treatment processes
  • Improving local industry waste management practices

What benefits will the project have on commercial and industrial customers?

The upgrade will provide capacity to continue to support industrial and commercial customers within Wodonga. In addition the upgrade will allow high strength loads received from industrial customers to be managed and treated in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly manner through harnessing resources for beneficial use. It may also offer some customers the ability to divert waste away from landfill providing for improved environmental outcomes.

How safe is the new infrastructure?

While the project will be creating biogas, the daily quantities produced are low and significantly below hazardous facilities thresholds posing a low risk. Nonetheless the design of the facility will ensure compliance with regulations providing for a site that has appropriate monitoring and safety systems and protocols in place which will be tightly controlled. 

The risk profile of the site will not increase significantly.

Will this work reduce odours in the nearby vicinity?

Odour modelling has been undertaken in parallel to development of the reference design for the project. This modelling compares the current odour state to that of the upgraded facility. The results confirm that the upgrade will provide a net benefit in reducing potential odours from the site. This is largely due to diverting the stronger waste to the new facilities that are completely covered, further restricting any odours from being emitted.

Will nearby neighbours be impacted by this work?

During the construction phase there will be increased activity at the site. North East Water will liaise with neighbours and ensure that disruptions are kept to a minimum. The area of development sits within an area zoned for industrial use with planning provisions in place to support the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant, so there won’t be any impact to residential areas.

Will there be traffic impacts?

There may be increased traffic in the area during construction, however it is not expected to result in any road closures or significant disruptions. Any works on or around roads will be provided with appropriate traffic management to minimise potential impacts.

Is this upgrade linked to the construction of the nearby hydrogen facility?

While not directly related to the upgrade of the Wodonga wastewater treatment plant, North East Water is collaborating with the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) which is responsible for management of the natural gas supply servicing Wodonga. AGIG ihas commited to the construction of a hydrogen production facility to enable hydrogen gas to be created and injected into the natural gas grid servicing Albury and Wodonga. North East Water supports this development due to a number of potential future synergies (such as accessing “waste” oxygen from the hydrogen production for use in the wastewater treatment process) that can be explored between the projects. It is proposed that the AGIG project is developed on land currently owned by North East Water to the west of our current land holdings. Further information on this project can be found here

I have more questions about this project. Who do I contact?

You can contact project manager Kevin Freeman on 1300 361 622 or

Green project precinct

North East Water's three megawatt solar farm is located alongside Wodonga's wastewater treatment plant. Its 6500 panels generate enough electricity to power the waste facility during daylight hours with surplus energy sent back to the grid to offset electricty used at other North East Water sites.

Between the solar farm and the completion of the wastewater treatment plant upgrade, the Corporation’s overall greenhouse footprint will be reduced by approximately 50%, representing a huge step forward for our environment.

Another major carbon emission reducing project will also be constructed alongside the site of the wastewater treatment plant. Australian Gas Infrastructure Group has committed to building a 10MW renewable hydrogen plant that will produce renewable hydrogen blended with natural gas and then supplied to customers on the existing Albury-Wodonga gas distribution network. For more detail on the project, click here.

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