North Queensland Sets The Benchmark For Wastewater Management

Algae in a whole new light!

Article heading image for North Queensland Sets The Benchmark For Wastewater Management

Pacidic Bio

Locally developed technology is set to rewrite north Queensland's aquaculture and agriculture industries, while protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

With high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous being discharged into rivers and ocean waters from aquaculture and municipal wastewater facilities, a radical new process uses sunlight to convert nutrients found in seaweed, into plant juice replacing conventional fertilisers. 

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Developed alongside leading scientists at James Cook University, RegenAqua uses native green macro-algae to break down water pollution.

Working closely with councils to create cleaner water solutions, Pacific Biotechnologies Pty Limited (PacBio) have delivered a pilot trial of the RegenAqua system in establishing a $8.8m facility at Burdekin Wastewater Treatment Plants delivering effective, low cost, and scalable solutions for local councils.

Townsville Enterprise CEO Claudia Brumme-Smith said the project was a win-win.

“It ticks all the boxes for governments as a real solution to achieve greater sustainability of our precious natural assets, but with an economic development lens that can be commercialised into a nation-building project to positively benefit all Australians,” she said.

The new tech promises to not only protect the Great Barrier Reef, but also support local jobs, with economic growth opportunities exporting to other nations. 

The program will first however, be extended across North Queensland Local Government Areas, followed by the remaining 17 Queensland LGAs in the reef catchment area.

The project will see the creation of 100 jobs during construction and 70 employment opportunities once the systems are operational.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the pilot’s success had paved the way for a full-scale demonstration. 

“The small-scale Macro-Algal Bioremediation Facility at the Ayr/Brandon Wastewater Treatment Plant has been operating for eight months and in that time, has demonstrated the potential to significantly reduce harmful nutrients, including other elements like aluminum and heavy metals, in the effluent treated,” Cr McLaughlin said.

“A full-scale demonstration represents not only a world-first that could revolutionise the treatment of effluent to ensure less environmental impact but offer an alternative treatment option which is significantly cheaper to construct, operate and maintain while just as effective in removal of targeted nutrients.

- Cr Lyn McLaughlin

For more information on RegenAqua and how it limits devastating impacts to the environment click here.


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Hit News Team

25 October 2021

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