A new report has praised Queensland utilities for their efforts to improve waterways and shown that STP upgrades have helped to reduce pollution in the region’s waterways.

Queensland’s 2015 Healthy Waterways Report Card discussed key issues for Queensland’s water and included praise for the efforts of government and water utilities for their role in contributing to water quality improvements over the last decade.

One company in the report, Unitywater (QLD), is a long-term partner of Healthy Waterways and has a keen interest in waterway health as a provider of sewage treatment services to communities in the Noosa, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions.

Unitywater has responded and is happy with the results. Unitywater Executive Manager Infrastructure Planning and Capital Delivery, Simon Taylor, said, “It is pleasing to see that Healthy Waterways’ testing and monitoring has shown that our STP upgrades have played a part in reducing the amount of point source pollution in our waterways”.

According to the 2015 Report Card, waterway health in Noosa and the Sunshine Coast ranges from fair to excellent; while Healthy Waterways noted that water quality in most Moreton Bay estuaries is improving due to “wastewater treatment plant upgrades over the last decade”.

Since 2011, upgrades have been carried at sewage treatment plants (STPs) in: Cooroy, Woodford, Burpengary East, South Caboolture, Brendale, Maleny and Nambour. A $28.6million rehabilitation of the Redcliffe STP is underway.

“Some catchments in our region are under pressure from high sediment loads, but Healthy Waterways’ data shows this is primarily due to sources like development, erosion and run-off, and urbanisation,” Mr Taylor said.

“The results also show how highly the community values waterways, a sentiment shared by Unitywater. We have an obligation to the environment and the community to maintain safe sewage treatment practices.”

Healthy Waterways Chief Executive Officer, Julie McLellan, said that while Healthy Waterways’ monitoring has shown a reduction in point source pollution over the last 10 years, it requires ongoing monitoring and management in conjunction with other pressures.

“We have expanded our monitoring to also measure the amount and impact of sediment on waterways, which is now the number one issue affecting water quality in our region,” Ms McLellan said.

“The 2015 Report Card results highlight the need to accelerate our efforts to reduce sediment runoff in both rural and urban areas.” 

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