Topics:  helidon, natural, queensland urban utilities, reeds, treatment, water

Helidon water treatment goes natural

The new reed beds at the Helidon Sewage Treatment Plant could easily be mistaken for landscaping.
The new reed beds at the Helidon Sewage Treatment Plant could easily be mistaken for landscaping. Contributed

FOLLOWING its recent upgrade, the Helidon Sewage Treatment Plant in the Lockyer Valley is now able to treat the region's waste with minimal use of electrical energy.

The $85,000 upgrade, which took Queensland Urban Utilities three months to complete, involved the construction of reed beds - gravel-filled tanks planted with common reed - to enhance the plant's treatment process.

The new reed beds play a sustainable role in the sewage treatment process.

Treated sewage flows through the reeds, just below the gravel surface, where suspended solids are trapped among the roots. Bacteria that live in this environment feed on the waste, in turn, treating the water in the most natural way possible.

The reed beds are the newest addition to the lagoon treatment plant in Helidon. A lagoon plant is a system of shallow lagoons built to treat sewage by mimicking naturally occurring processes.

Queensland Urban Utilities' chief executive officer Louise Dudley said incorporating reed beds into the sewage treatment process highlighted the organisation's commitment to delivering the most appropriate asset solution.

"This is a cost-effective solution that will improve the sewage treatment process and also result in a significantly smaller ecological footprint than alternative options," she said.

In addition to the new reed beds in Helidon, existing lagoon treatment plants in Laidley, Forest Hill, Boonah, Kalbar and Aratula will soon be upgraded to further enhance treatment processes in these areas.

"These cross-regional lagoon projects, which span the Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim areas will benefit residents and improve the overall environmental outcome," Ms Dudley said.



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