Cleaner Seas commissioning hits target date
Efforts to conserve the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park will be significantly increased with the coming on-line of the $188 million Cleaner Seas Alliance project.
The four major Wastewater Treatment Plants within Cairns, Marlin Coast at Yorkeys Knob, Northern near the Cairns airport, Southern off Ray Jones Drive and Edmonton on Swallow St, have been progressively brought on line between July and October to meet with Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) licences.
General Manager of Cairns Water and Waste, Bruce Gardiner said this was a major milestone achievement for the project that delivers 60 million litres of the city’s wastewater daily to the Coral Sea. “The wastewater leaves the upgraded treatment plants 80% cleaner than previously,” Mr Gardiner said.
“The annual reduction in nutrients discharged to the water that surrounds the Great Barrier Reef is approximately 160 tonnes.”
“EPA granted the Alliance licenses that were due to expire 28 November and the project has finished up ahead of deadline.”
The Cleaner Seas Alliance upgraded treatment plants produce wastewater and bio solids. With the wastewater phase of the project commissioned, the bio solid treatment phase of each treatment plant is set to come on line March 2010.
Cairns Regional Council initiated the Cleaner Seas Project as part of its obligations to meet the requirements of the Queensland Government Coastal Management Plan.
The upgraded facilities have expanded capacity to meet population growth predictions and during their construction created jobs for local contractors and individuals.