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Awards recognise novel digital wastewater design tool

24 May 2024
Awards recognise novel digital wastewater design tool

A digital tool to help processors modernise and manage the wastewater treatment process, with better recovery of valuable bio-resources, reduced landfill, and reduced emissions has been recognised at the 2024 Australian Water Awards.

AMPC engaged Tessele Consultants to develop the tool. Director Dr Fabiana Tessele collected the award for Best Water E-Journal Paper at the Australian Water Awards on May 1.

Her paper outlined development of the tool, which uses a three-dimensional illustrated software model to help users assess, design, and estimate the cost of transformation and better understand the benefits from reducing waste and increasing bio-resource recovery.

AMPC Program Manager Matt Deegan says the tool, which was launched in 2022, is valuable for meat processing plants, especially as they ramp up production, and is being used to aid adoption.

“As plants process more livestock and have more throughput, the wastewater concentrations and potential for recovery of bioenergy, bio-fertiliser and nutrients is greater,” he says.

“It becomes more important to deal with it properly, so any discharge to irrigation or trade waste is compliant, and there is a capture of financial benefits from bio-resources through an integrated wastewater treatment process.”

As a follow up, a two-year pilot program to develop and trial anaerobic co-digestion to break down aggregated organic matter as part of the wastewater treatment process while creating more productive biogas is now underway.

Matt says data and samples are being collected and two pilot-scale anaerobic co-digestion reactors ordered from Europe are due to arrive later this year.

The reactors will be used to manage temperature, substrate mixing, and biogas monitoring for the selected combinations – e.g. sludges, food organics and garden organics, crop residues – to measure which process and co-substrates are the most productive.

They will be housed at Griffith University, which is a joint funding partner in the project, along with AMPC, RACE for 2030 CRC and AgriFutures.

The digital tool is available for all red meat processing plants to determine the feasibility of utilising integrated wastewater treatment and biogas plants: 

A recording of a webinar explaining how to use the tool can be viewed at:
To book a session to better understand the tool, reach out to AMPC Program Manager Sustainability Matt Deegan at