Hawks Nest Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) Lightning Strike cripples the Plant

Hawks Nest Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) was crippled by a direct lightning strike.


During the early hours of 18 September, the Hawks Nest Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) was crippled by a direct lightning strike.

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Councillor Len Robnerts told News Of The Area that the entire sewer treatment process was affected due to the damage caused from the energy of the strike.

“Staff were able to use their knowledge of the plant to initiate some sewer treatment through manual processes within hours of the event to mitigate any breaches of the plant licencing arrangements,” he said.

The operators were able to identify damaged equipment and prioritise the areas of the plant for repair.

Various items of electrical equipment associated with all areas of the plant were affected.

Issues ranged from signs of high energy arc blasts causing black burn marks and blown fuses through to intermittent faults on electronic instrumentation.

Within the day Council staff successfully replaced the faulty programmable logic controller (PLC) modules, flow transmitters, analytical probes, power supplies.

Councillor Len Robnerts said, “This is an example of dedicated staff working all hours to ensure that service to ratepayers is paramount. Congratulations to staff for a job well done.”

With some great fault finding and commitment the plant was able to run on a basic program. As work continued over the next few days, additional equipment was identified as faulty and required replacement.

The range of the damage was significant with equipment affected more than 200m away from the strike site.

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