$1.5m grant flushed into new effluent treatment forest
GRAVITY, sunlight and microbes are being relied on in a new approach to treating effluent generated on the Sunshine Coast.
Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt toured an effluent treatment forest at Maleny on Tuesday that had been created by The Water and Carbon Group.
The group's CEO, Jim Hunter, said a $1.5 million funding boost announced by Mr Pitt would help his company expand its work.
"This project is quite unique in that we are integrating ecology with the mechanical engineering or traditional methods of treating wastewater,” Mr Hunter said.
"We have managed to get an integrated rainforest wetland to... be integrated with the treatment process before the water is released back into Obi Obi Creek.”
He said the process involved modern technology at the start and then microbes converting nitrate into nitrogen gas at the end.
"It's a natural process so you are just letting nature do a lot of the heavy lifting.”
Mr Hunter said it was a step away from high-tech, energy intensive wastewater management.
He said residents could be confident the water flowing into the creek system was clean.
"It won't be contaminating the waterway.”
Mr Pitt said the government's grant would help the company establish 10 pilot treatment systems to do demonstration projects on site with key clients.
"This will allow them to create employment, research and training opportunities in the south-east corner and regional Queensland, as well as develop contract opportunities for other Queensland companies,” Mr Pitt said.