Monmouth-based Siltbuster, a world leading provider of water treatment solutions, is playing a crucial role in the vast bush fire recovery operations in Australia, with its products being used in the process to help produce essential clean and safe drinking water for the surrounding populations in some of the most harshly affected areas.

Siltbuster’s Australian partner, PR Power, is working closely with numerous local water companies by deploying Siltbuster’s water treatment solutions across numerous affected states to prevent polluted water from reaching the region’s local water treatment plants.

Siltbuster’s Lamella Clarifiers are acting as a primary treatment source. Although compact with a minimal footprint, each is capable of treating just under one million litres of contaminated water every day, playing a vital role in removing suspended solids, soil, and pollutants, including vast quantities of ash, from the water before it enters the treatment plants. Without this, the water treatment plants could easily become overloaded by the polluted waters, impairing their processing ability and, in the worst cases, they could totally fail which is a critical concern at a time when clean and safe water is already in short supply.

Such water pollution has become a risk due to the combination of both the bush fires and flooding in the region. Across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania, more than 10 million hectares have been destroyed, 28 lives claimed, and thousands of homes destroyed by the fires. The bush fires have not only wreaked devastation in the area, but they have also damaged and removed the land’s topsoil and vegetation, which is its strongest defence against erosion – making it a very vulnerable landscape to flooding. So when the region faced considerable, sudden short bursts of heavy rainfall - up to 50mm of rain fell across parts of Victoria over just a few days in January alone - the already heavily ash-laden water picked up soil particles, which became suspended in the water.

By treating such water before it gets to the local water treatment plant, the Siltbuster water treatment solutions, deployed by PR Power, are helping to ensure people continue to receive safe water.

With an extensive and rapidly deployable fleet of equipment for wastewater treatment and a team of in-house experts to draw on, this project isn’t the first time Siltbuster’s solutions have played an important part in a high-profile environmental emergency.

Rich Matthews, MD at Siltbuster, said: “Having the expertise and solutions for dealing with a wide range of pollutants in water has involved us in some major, international emergency recovery missions and it is great to once again be able to see our solutions making a significant difference at a critical time when environmental protection is vital. PR Power, with the backup support of our Monmouth-based team of expert engineers and scientists, will continue to be working with the Australian water companies in their efforts to produce safe drinking water, until the level of pollutants within the natural water courses are back to normal.”

From its centre of excellence for water treatment in Monmouth, Siltbuster designs and engineers solutions that are deployed in more than 34 countries. Its award-winning systems are used by the water industry, construction, mining, food, drink, and industrial businesses both in the UK and overseas.