Thursday, April 25, 2024

Fraser Coast adopts new biosolids strategy

Fraser Coast Regional Council has adopted a new Biosolids Strategy that will cover future uses of biosolids.

Division 9 councillor, David Lee said agriculture would remain the mainstay of utilising biosolids generated from Fraser Coast sewage treatment plants.

“The new strategy will build flexibility into the way we manage biosolids so we can take advantage of changes to processing technology,” Cr Lee said.

“Biosolids are an unavoidable by-product in the sewage treatment process consisting of mainly water and organic compounds.

“They are often applied as a soil conditioner to improve soil structure due to the high nutrient value and water retention capabilities.

“Depending on their grade, biosolids may be applied to a range of uses such as composting, land application in forestry operations, topsoil, land rehabilitation and application to agricultural land.

“On the Fraser Coast, biosolids are currently used in the agricultural sector for pasture for cattle, sugar cane, cotton, turf farms, legumes and tree plantations.”

The development of a new Fraser Coast Biosolids Strategy was prompted by the revision of the state government’s End of Waste Code and the imminent adoption of the National Environment Management Plan.

“Our new strategy is flexible enough to be able to adapt and change direction if there were changes to legislation such as tighter controls on contaminants like PFAS or microplastics,” Cr Lee said.

“There are also other processes such as composting or biofuel production that could also be investigated.”

Council has four major sewage treatment plants at Eli Creek, Pulgul, Nikenbah and Aubinville.

There are four minor treatment plants located at Toogoom, Burrum Heads, Torbanlea and Howard, with the biosolids from the smaller plants going to one of the major plants for further processing.

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