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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection
    The Honourable Andrew Powell

    Water pilot project improves environment and eases cost of living pressure

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection
    The Honourable Andrew Powell

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    Water pilot project improves environment and eases cost of living pressure

    A pilot project funded by Queensland Urban Utilities will not only have big environmental benefits but, will also demonstrate a way to help moderate water prices.

    The trial is designed to prevent sediment and nutrients from entering the Logan River and is the first ever pilot program of its kind by a water service provider in Queensland.

    Environment Minister Andrew Powell said close to $1 million has been invested by Queensland Urban Utilities to repair 500 metres of eroded riparian corridors near the Beaudesert Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) in the Logan River catchment.

    “The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has been working closely with Queensland Urban Utilities and SEQ Catchments to manage increasing nitrogen discharges from the Beaudesert STP as a result of local population growth,” Mr Powell said.

    “By stabilising sediment loads, Beaudesert STP will be able to continue safely at its current capacity in the short term without undertaking an $8 million upgrade.

    “This is a significant saving for Queensland Urban Utilities which will help moderate long-term costs.

    “It is estimated the riparian works will prevent approximately five tonnes of nitrogen and 11,200 tonnes of sediment from entering the Logan River each year due to natural erosion.”

    Queensland Urban Utilities CEO Louise Dudley said the initiative would benefit the environment and relieve price pressures.

    "We are very aware of the cost of living pressures and the $7 million saving achieved through this project will help moderate water prices,” she said.

    "The river had carved steep cliffs through the landscape and was eroding more than a metre of neighbouring river bank each year.

    “By changing the angle of the riverbank, about 17 Olympic swimming pools of sediment will be prevented from entering the Logan River every year.

    “This innovative approach offers a long-term solution to a long-term problem.

    “We have been able to counter-balance the impact of nitrogen in the water and also reduce local turbidity; with the added benefits of a new wildlife habitat and significant cost savings.”

    By reducing the amount of nitrogen being released into Logan River through riparian works, any potential increase in nitrogen during wet weather events is counterbalanced.

    The works will also help prevent other pollutants from entering the waterway and assist landholders with ongoing riverbank erosion.

    Mr Powell said the project will run until 2019, with a possible five year extension.

    “If this pilot lays the ground work for other entities, there is no reason this model can’t be adopted by other water utilities across the state,” Mr Powell said.

    “I hope the Beaudesert pilot is the first of many projects in Queensland to use alternative nutrient reduction actions to achieve better water quality outcomes, while delivering cost savings to water utilities and their customers.’

    “I am therefore pleased to release today the guideline ‘a voluntary market-based mechanism for nutrient management’ to provide assistance to water utilities in using this approach.”

    This guideline is now available on the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s website at

    [ENDS] 23 April 2014

    Media contact: Brooke Hargraves 3719 7336