Boneo Water Recycling Plant shortlisted for global award
South East Water’s Boneo Water Recycling Plant on the Mornington Peninsula has achieved global recognition for its sustainability. It is the only Australian project to be shortlisted for Water Reuse Project of the Year at the 2023 Global Water Awards, against initiatives from the US, Singapore and the Philippines.
The upgrade enabled the plant to make better use of the nutrient- and energy-rich by-products of the water recycling process to support sustainable agriculture, reducing emissions and transforming the plant into a circular ecosystem.
A suite of energy-efficient technologies and biogas-driven combined heat and power (CHP) have been delivered by the upgrade, reducing the utility’s reliance on grid electricity by 30–40% and contributing to a corporate emissions reduction target of 45% by 2025.
Charlie Littlefair, South East Water’s General Manager Liveable Water Solutions, said the recognition of the upgrade shows that a sustainable approach benefits customers, community and environment. This upgrade provides a drought-proof source of recycled water to local farmers.
“It also supports peak sewage inflows in the area during the summer months — and allows the connection of more than 16,000 aging septic systems to sewer — a known cause of groundwater and waterway pollution in the region,” Littlefair said.
The upgrade has been funded by a commitment South East Water made in its Five-year Customer Commitment 2018–23 to stay ahead of challenges like population growth and climate change.
The Global Water Awards recognise excellence across the entire international water industry, rewarding leading initiatives in water, wastewater and desalination.
The winners will be announced at the Global Water Summit in Berlin this May.
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