Water Stewardship at Ingham’s – saving water and wildlife

In 2018, Ingham’s Enterprises Pty Ltd reached out to and partnered with Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee to assist in attaining International Water Stewardship accreditation for their site. The outcome, so far, has been outstanding for the environment and community.

Floating wetlands at Ingham’s, Murarrie.
Pond 3. Ingham’s, Murarrie.

What was a series of degraded old piggery dams, bordering the Ingham’s processing facilities, was seen as an opportunity. They have been transformed into some major aquatic and floodplain improvements that are bringing the Doboy Wetlands back to life and saving huge amounts of water.

This innovative and eco-conscious organisation puts approximately 4 mega litres a week through their ponds.

They have gained an International Water Stewardship Standard and are a founding member and supporter of Water Stewardship in Brisbane’s industrial and environmental landscape.

AWS International Water Stewardship Standard is a globally-applicable framework for major water users to understand their water use and impacts, and to work collaboratively and transparently for sustainable water management within a catchment context.

Ingham’s achieved Gold Status in September 2018. A recent surveillance audit completed on the Murarrie site afforded them enough points to receive Platinum Status. Several innovative projects were undertaken for this accreditation.

These projects included:

  • hydraulic excavation of old dams and detention basins
  • integration of high quality water treatment and flows
  • creation of habitat, including safe islands for bird breeding, weed controls, strategic revegetation (including innovative floating islands)
  • major improvements to water sustainability and the viability of the urban water treatment program.

The Water Stewardship project demonstrates that industry can make a profit and still conserve nature, if it can innovate.

Ingham’s pond at Murarrie.
Rufus Fantail at Ingham’s site.

Ingham’s also have 5.8 hectares allocated as Land for Wildlife property.

B4C’s Landcare Services Manager, Stefan Hattingh says that the biodiversity there is recovering well.

“Wildlife has been monitored returning to the numerous waterbodies and created habitat. It shows that if nature is given a chance it can bounce back,” Stefan says.

B4C, as a keen and able partner, has participated and sought to contribute, along with the Community Living Association labour market trainees and Birdlife SEQ.

B4C undertook a Baseline Water Quality Summary, including sampling invertebrates, fauna box installation, Barn Owl program to decrease rat poison use, restocking ponds with feeder fish, shrimp and yabbies, night photo monitoring, salt marsh recovery and the introduction of seasonal bird surveys by Birds SEQ, to name a few. See the Spring Birds SEQ Survey data.

Rakali at Ingham’s, Murarrie

The outcome allows 3-4 mega litres of good clean fresh water into the Doboy Wetlands and adjacent Council floodplains. All dams will be at full capacity in drought, providing a major resource.

B4C’s Catchment Manager Wayne Cameron says this is a massive project in its scale and the outcomes for water management on its own.

Water stewardship chart
The AWS Standard offers a systematic process and guidance to understand water use, risks and opportunities. It is built upon the five water stewardship actions/steps.

“Add to that the improvements to Bulimba Creek Lower Catchment floodplains and biodiversity, and you realise something special has occurred in our Bulimba Creek Catchment that has put us years ahead,” Wayne says.

“The Management of Ingham’s Murarrie has proved to be true believers in working in partnership with the community and embracing the new concept of Industrial Landcare.”

B4C has also benefited by being offered contracted ground maintenance and landscaping at the Ingham’s facility, which keeps us in the game of catchment management and follows the “value creation” principle of supporting those who support the community.

There are plenty of ideas and spinoffs from this catchment success. We look forward to continuing with the innovating and working with Ingham’s – who have set the standard for other industries in our city.

B4C twitchers exploring the wildlife at the wetlands.
Area of Birds SEQ Survey

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