Wide Bay Water Corporation’s water reuse program enables up to 100% of Hervey Bay’s treated sewage effluent to be re-used by golf courses, turf farms, cane farms and tree plantations.
Prior to the program, Hervey Bay’s treated water was discharged into the pristine waters of the Great Sandy Strait where its high nutrient content had the potential to cause damage to the marine environment.
During the early 1990s WBWC came up with the recycling program as a solution to this problem. The program supplies water at low-cost to the area’s farmers and any surplus is used to water hardwood tree plantations. As drought-hardy natives, the trees make an ideal crop because irrigation can cease without causing damage if demand is high from cane farmers or other third-party users.
In addition, eucalypt trees were chosen for the project because they:
• are excellent plants for recycling nutrients and wastewater.
• provide future income from timber.
• re-vegetate cleared land.
• give wildlife a habitat (as opposed to pine plantations which support little or no native wildlife).
• improve the local catchments.
• lead to greater knowledge about total water management.
The tree varieties planted are forest red gum, grey ironbark, spotted gum, grey box, grey gum, Gympie messmate and a hybrid clone of the forest red gum and swamp mahogany. They are planted according to where the most suitable soil conditions are for each variety. To date, the trees are growing at much faster rates than occurs under natural conditions.
The water reuse program also stretches to the Hervey Bay Airport Industrial Estate where businesses can access recycled water for their landscaping.
Would you like to use recycled water? Click here for more information.