Representatives from the 11 Creek Catchment Groups across the Lower Brisbane Catchment attended a Study Tour of alternative Green Infrastructure for Treatment Systems on the Sunshine Coast.
This event was part of the ‘Reducing Urban Nutrient Pollution in Moreton Bay’ project. On Tuesday 11th October the group visited:
- The Maleny Wetland restoration project
- The Unitywater Maleny Sewage Treatment Plant
- SPEL Environmental Floating Wetlands at Park Lakes, Bli Bli.
What some of the attendees had to say about the day:
Dr Tony Pressland (Vice President, Cubberla-Witton Catchments Network)
I guess the take home message for me was that created wetlands – either “standard” – vis a vis water plants sown/planted into drainage areas then maintained as a normal wetland – or “floating” – manufactured islands made of recycled plastics anchored in a stream or lake and planted with appropriate grasses – are effective in removing nutrients from both storm water and partially treated sewage. They offer opportunities for enhancing the aesthetics of new housing developments, and may be retro fitted in areas that allow vegetation to grow watered from wastes.
The other point I would make is that wetlands such as we visited can be created in small rural catchments as well as in small urbanised areas. Benefits exist for developers (lower overall costs) and residents (desirable lake frontages), as well as small towns such as Maleny – aesthetics, enhanced biodiversity, potential for flood mitigation. Whilst conclusive evidence of effectiveness is still being collated, the early indications are positive.
Yamna Mohamed (QUT Student)
The bus tour was very informative and enjoyable. It was my first time visiting a sewerage management plant and it was fascinating to see in person, all the processes that make sewage water free from toxic chemicals. The wetlands were beautiful and opened my eyes to the many possibilities arising from the management of wetlands and all the stakeholders that are directly and indirectly affected by it.
Thanks to SPEL Environmental and B4C Environment Fund for sponsoring the event. Also thanks to Unitywater and Maleny Green Hills Fund for sharing such outstanding environmental projects!