Cleveland Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant

Installation overview


Cleveland Bay, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Commissioned / installed date:


Application and type:


Technology configuration used:

Hollow fibre

MBR technology / membrane product used:


Scale of installation:

Large-scale municipal

Capacity range MLD:


Average daily flow:

29 MLD

Peak daily flow:

75 MLD

About Cleveland Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant

Innovative clarifier retrofit design uses ZeeWeed membranes to increase plant throughput and meet stringent effluent requirements in the Great Barrier Reef area


Like everywhere in Australia, the Townsville area had been facing severe drought conditions. On top of the water restrictions, the Environmental Protection Agency had implemented more stringent license agreements for cities in the Great Barrier Reef area. Of particular concern was both nitrogen and phosphate in the effluent quality.


The Townsville Council had to rebuild their Cleveland Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant using state of the art technology. Due to the small footprint of its technology, SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions was chosen for the UF (Ultrafiltration) supplier utilizing their hollow fibre membranes for the membrane bioreactor.

The process consists of two MBR streams that have been constructed through the modification of existing secondary clarifiers. This was achieved through a novel circular design in which the membrane tanks are located centrally with an oxidation ditch forming the outer annulus.

The plant is currently processing 23 ML of effluent a day with a design dry weather flow of 29 ML per day. It also has a design peak wet weather flow of 145 ML per day, of which 75 ML flows through secondary treatment and the membrane system.


The plant was completely rebuilt over an 18 month period making it one of the largest membrane bioreactor wastewater treatment plants of its type in the southern hemisphere at the time.

The plant has reduced the amount of nutrient discharge into the environment by around 140 tonnes per annum. The amount of nitrogen discharge has been reduced from 138 tonnes a year to 30 tonnes, and the amount of phosphorus has been reduced from 43 tonnes to just 8 tonnes per year.

With better quality water being discharged into the environment, this has reduced the impact on the local marine life. With the Townsville population rapidly increasing, the council has to look at future plans to also reuse this treated water. Recycling the treated water for civic and commercial purposes are key areas where this water can be used.

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Banner image: full treatment plant for pharmaceutical wastewater in Taizhou, Linhai Park, Zhejiang Province, China, including Shanghai MEGAVISION  flat sheet UF membrane modules in two MBR units. Image courtesy of VALORSABIO, Lda.

Image credits:

– Image for our Chinese largest plants 全球最大的MBR项目 homepage link: Image supplied by Apex Environmental
– Image for our Consultants and Contractors homepage link: Image supplied by Ovivo USA, LLC.

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