The Mt Buller Alpine Resort is located approximately 200 km north of Melbourne, in Victoria, Australia. A wastewater treatment plant services the resort and currently treats to advanced nutrient removal standards. The treated effluent is presently discharged into the Howqua River.
Most Australian ski resorts are not blessed with abundant snow cover on a regular basis. Artificial snow allows most of the popular ski runs to operate for the whole of the season. At the Mt Buller resort, snow-making is presently limited by lack of water supply in the catchment. The conditions at Mt Buller resort present a unique opportunity to utilise reclaimed wastewater to allow increased snow-making capacity. It is one of the unique opportunities where the wastewater is valued as a resource rather than merely viewed as a waste problem.
Wastewater reclamation for snow-making will require additional treatment for pathogen removal. It is proposed that following advanced nutrient removal, the effluent will require further treatment, including membrane ultrafiltration, so as to ensure a minimum of four barriers for pathogen removal.
Pilot plant operation of a membrane ultrafiltration system commenced in June 2000 and will continue until the end of 2001, to primarily demonstrate the extent of pathogen removal.