Project recognised for healthy water

Thursday, 04 June, 2009

The environmental benefits of the Western Corridor Recycled Water (WCRW) Project have been recognised with the scheme winning a 2009 Healthy Waterways Award this month.

The project took out the Arup Industry Award for ecological features of the project which are helping improve Queensland’s waterways.

Keith Davies, Chief Executive Officer of WaterSecure, the Queensland government authority responsible for the project, said the win was confirmation of the important contribution it is making to South East Queensland.

“The positive addition the WCRW Project has made to our water supply is clear but this award provides recognition for the significant impact it has had on the environment,” Davies said.

“We have gone above and beyond our water production requirements by undertaking additional treatment processes to reduce the level of nutrients in water discharged, helping to improve the health of the Brisbane and Bremer Rivers, as well as Moreton Bay.

“Before the WCRW Project, Oxley, Luggage Point and Gibson Island wastewater treatment plants were discharging around 1200 kg of phosphorus into our rivers each day. The advanced water treatment process reduces the level of phosphorus and nitrogen discharged by about 50%, with the potential to reduce phosphorus by about 90%.”

To date, the project has produced about 18 billion litres of purified recycled water, resulting in a reduction of more than 36 t of nitrogen and 54 t of phosphorus that would otherwise have been discharged into the Brisbane and Bremer Rivers.

This significant reduction decreases algal blooms and weed growth, helping to protect waterways and the internationally significant Moreton Bay — a Ramsar Convention protected ecosystem that supports endangered animals, is a popular tourist and recreation area and is home to local commercial fisheries.

The award comes on the back of a number of accolades for the project including the WCRW Project’s Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant being named 2008 Water Project of the Year by Global Water Intelligence. The project was also named the 2008 International Project of the Year by the Construction Management Association of America and received a Grand Honour Award at the 2008 International Water Association Project Innovation Awards in Vienna.

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