Project Update: Floating Wetlands Trial at Lockyer Valley Sewerage Treatment Facility

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In September 2014, Queensland Urban Utilities launched a new trial involving SPEL floating wetlands to purify waste water at the Forest Hill Sewage Treatment Plant, near Laidley.

As reported by ABC, these floating wetlands have been used to grow 400 varieties of wetland grass plants, which draw toxins out of the water — things like carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. Being a completely natural process, it did not require chemicals or electricity and thus cutting down their use by 25%.

Challenges

There were setbacks when all the grass during the first trial died after their roots are being eaten by short neck turtles.

Since then, the roots had been covered with mesh and netting to prevent such incident from happening again.

The treated water will be discharged into the property of a local farmer, who will then use the water for irrigation purposes.

The two-year trial began a year ago.

Queensland Urban Utilities has found that one floating treatment wetland in a pond can save up to $5,000 annually.

If the project stays afloat, it could be rolled out to other regional facilities.

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