Case Study: Illawarra Water Treatment Plant, WA (320 ML/day)


Sydney Water supplies more than 1.7 billion litres of water to more than 1.6 million homes and businesses each day. It provides drinking water, wastewater services, and some stormwater services to customers in the communities of Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra.

Sydney Water wanted to improve water quality at Illawarra beaches, particularly those near Sewage Treatment plants as well as protect coastal waters, reduce impact on sensitive marine ecosystems, and minimize the effluents negative impacts when released to the environment. Sydney Water also needed to supply high-quality recycled water for industrial reuse while saving drinking water. 


Before the Illawarra WTP was constructed, wastewater from the Illawarra region was receiving treatment at three separate facilities –Wollongong, Port Kembla and Bellambi.

The project consisted on upgrading the 3 wastewater treatment plants as well as building a Wastewater Reclamation Plant at the Wollongong STP.  

Scope of the project:

  • Upgrade and augmentation of Wollongong STP by moving to full tertiary treatment and UV disinfection
  • Conversion of existing Bellambi and Port Kembla STPs to storm sewage treatment plants to store and treat wastewater
  • Construction of a Water Reclamation Plant at Wollongong STP.

The upgraded facility at Wollongong provides biological treatment to flows of up to 177ML/day. Flows in excess of this, up to maximum of 320ML/day, are treated using Actiflo® followed by UV disinfection.

The Wastewater Reclamation Plant uses Continuous Membrane Filtration (MF) and Reverse Osmosis (RO) to produce 20ML of reclaimed effluent per day for industrial reuse by BlueScope Steel.

This plant is one of the largest wastewater reuse facilities in Australia equipped with the dual environmental benefit of decreasing ocean wastewater discharge volume by 60% and decreasing the use of potable water in the steel-making process by more than 60%.


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