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South Pine River - Sustainable Loads Study Integrated Stream Health Assessment

Recognising rapid urban growth in the Local Government Area, Moreton Bay Regional Council has identified the need to augment the Brendale Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) to account for this future growth.

Background

Client: Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC)/Water Strategies via the Healthy Waterways Partnership

MBRC has identified the need to augment the Brendale Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) to account for this future growth. The need for a ‘Sustainable Loads’ assessment was identified, which involved (i) an evaluation of current ecosystem health of the receiving waters in an Integrated Stream Health Assessment, (ii) determination of catchment and WWTP pollutant loads, and (iii) assessment of the environmental implications associated with various WWTP discharge options. The Integrated Stream Health Assessment was an integral component of the study, consistent with national and state guidelines and conducted in accordance with Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program (EHMP) methodology.

Outcomes and Benefits

It comprised assessment of the following stream health indicators: 1) Physico-chemical water and sediment parameters: diel range of dissolved oxygen and temperature; nutrients and Biochemical Oxygen Demand; pH, Electrical conductivity; and sediment trace metals. 2) Ecosystem Processes: Benthic metabolism; and stable isotope analysis of algal samples. 3) Biological Indicators: aquatic macroinvertebrates (Diversity, PET, SIGNAL); fish (PONSE, O/E50, alien fish species); and algae biomass in water column and sediment chlorophyll. The combination of stream health assessment, determination of catchment and WWTP loads, as well as the evaluation of various discharge scenarios with receiving river pool and estuarine box models allowed identification of recommended upgrade and discharge scenarios of the Brendale WWTP.

Services and Expertise Provided:

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