50 Years - 50 Stories: The Story of the Aqua Band Screen & Aqua Wash Press

50 Years - 50 Stories - Bandscreen Washpress Aquatec Maxcon

In late 2014 we submitted a tender offer to Redland City Council for the design, fabrication and installation of a new inlet works for the Mt Cotton Waste Water Treatment Plant. Though the offer included the full scope of the inlet works, it also included two products that, at the time, did not exist beyond rough hand sketched concept drawings. These products, now called the Aqua Band Screen and Aqua Max Washpress were offered alongside alternative, "tried & tested" proprietary bandscreens and washpresses.

This opportunity for developing new products came with significant risk. An inlet screen arguably has the toughest job of any mechanical equipment in a sewage treatment plant as it sees the worst of conditions and media. The tight project timeline left no time for multiple design iterations to be developed and proven – the first prototype model would need to go straight into operation. The project design was for only one duty bandscreen and washpress, meaning that any failures would require the plant to be run in manual operation, with 24hr attendance to clear the manual bypass screen. In order to back our new products, we extended the 12 month defects liability period to 36 months.

Why did we have the confidence to take on such a risk? As a vertically integrated company, Aquatec Maxcon boasts an enviable amount of inhouse knowledge and experience in the water industry. For 50 years we have taken on interesting challenges like these and our ‘never walk away’ attitude has proven to be a great asset. Aquatec Maxcon started the research and development from scratch in January 2015 with Ben Johanson heading the design, modelling, simulations, 3D printing and testing the prototypes. He was supported by the in-house experts (Paul Kwong, David Yule and Greg Johnston) as well as the inhouse drafting and Maxcon Industries fabrication teams.

By August of 2015, the equipment had been fabricated and was being tested in our Ipswich factory, using fresh toilet paper and bucket loads of dog food to mimic the ‘solids’ that the screen would see in its operation. Just weeks later the bandscreen and washpress was installed and commissioned to full operation. This equipment has continued to operate to this day without any significant failures or downtime.

As a measure of success, Redland City Council have since ordered two more Aqua Band Screens and Aqua Max Washpresses for use in their Thorneside WWTP inlet works, each being designed for flows over 4 times those at Mt Cotton.

Aqua Band Screen and Wash Press Mt Cotton Thorneside