Mawson waste water treatment plant
Mawson waste water treatment plant. Photo: Ivor Harris

Australian stations have a high level of sewage treatment in Antarctica.

Each station has a reticulated, secondary treatment sewage system, which treats human waste and waste water using a rotating biological contactor (RBC).

However, the treatment efficiency decreases in direct proportion to the increase of station populations over summer. 

We aim to minimise the release of micro-organisms into the marine environment, and with this in mind, has been trialing the RTA of sewage sludge.

A UV steriliser has been installed at Casey to sterilise the effluent before discharge into the sea. It is planned to install similar plants at the other stations in the near future.

If you are out in the field, you are required to bring back all solid human waste, which is burnt in the high temperature incinerator, known as “Warren”.