Recycling scheme to give farmers security

Recycling scheme to give farmers security

Unitywater is building a recycled scheme to give year-round water security for Wamuran farmers and manage wastewater from Caboolture South Sewage Treatment Plant (STP).

Work was due to start this week on the Wamuran Irrigation Scheme (WIS) which will take Class A recycled water from the STP to a number of farms for irrigation.

This project provides a sustainable future for the growing regional population and reduces the nutrient discharge into the Caboolture River.

In Stage One alone, 11 tonnes of nitrogen and 1.8 tonnes of phosphorus will be diverted away from the river. The scheme is expected to be operational by mid-2024.

“Higher wastewater volumes due to the increasing population in the Moreton Bay region was the catalyst for the scheme,” Unitywater Chairman Michael Arnett said.

In its first stage, it will deliver about 2.6 gigalitres - equivalent to 1051 Olympic swimming pools - of recycled water per year to farms selected to demonstrate the scheme’s feasibility. 

That’s the equivalent of 1051 Olympic swimming pools.

Mr Arnett said the project was being built by the Wamuran Irrigation Scheme Joint Venture – made up of contractor Pensar and local growers, Twin View Turf and Pinata Farms.

The joint venture was awarded the design and construction contract in October 2019, following an open-market tender process.

“The design has now been completed and Unitywater is thrilled that this exciting project is coming to fruition,” Mr Arnett said.

Pensar Managing Director Karl Yunker said it gave local growers climate-independent irrigation, reduced demand on dams and creeks and diverted discharge into river systems.

“We formed a joint venture with two of the main irrigators in the region so we could tailor a solution with the end user in mind – making sure what we’re proposing, designing and delivering meets the needs of growers and ultimately Unitywater,” Mr Yunker said.

Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Peter Flannery said the scheme “will create jobs in the agricultural and downstream industries and have positive flow-on effects for the community.”

Pinata Farms Managing Director and third generation business owner Gavin Scurr said: “The whole community benefits.

“The Wamuran Irrigation Scheme provides water security, potential for greater crop production and creates employment in the region.”

Twin View Turf General Manager Lawrence Stephenson said the Wamuran Irrigation scheme was critical for water security in the region.

“It will allow growers to build strong businesses that aren’t vulnerable to changes in weather events and patterns, building a solid foundation for the future,” he said.

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