The wastewater treatment system servicing the Eurong Beach amenities on Fraser Island needed upgrading. The Fraser Coast Council provides and maintains the infrastructure as a public resource. With the existing system overloading and in a state of disrepair, the Council acted quickly to resolve the problem. The facilities produce high strength effluent, and the existing system did not have the capability to treat it properly. True Water replaced the failing system with a fit for purpose, state of the art solution.
Fraser Island is a special place. This description from the UNESCO World Heritage List sums it up perfectly: “Fraser Island lies just off the east coast of Australia. At 122 km long, it is the largest sand island in the world. Majestic remnants of tall rainforest growing on sand and half the world’s perched freshwater dune lakes are found inland from the beach. The combination of shifting sand-dunes, tropical rainforests and lakes makes it an exceptional site.”
This exceptional and fragile location means that high standards and attention to detail are imperative. True Water is specialist wastewater company with experience in designing systems on Fraser Island. Our team installed sewage treatment systems here before, and we recently returned to install another one.
Engaging Wastewater Specialists to Meet the Challenges of the Site
Fraser Coast Council engaged True Water to assess the site and provide a solution. The natural conditions that make this site so special also provided some challenges to sustainable wastewater treatment. For instance, the sandy soil is highly permeable and has a high groundwater level. The site includes sensitive vegetation and areas ecological significance which need protection. Moreover, the coastal environment can be harsh on any installed infrastructure. True Water worked within these constraints to provide a fit for purpose solution for the new wastewater system to service the amenities at Eurong.
Through careful planning we were able to reuse some of the existing infrastructure. This reduced site disturbance and provided cost savings for the project. The design repurposed and used existing tanks as a pre-treatment tank. The pre-treatment tank feeds into a 10kL Kubota HC-Z 50 for the main treatment process. The HC-Z 50 uses a combination of anaerobic, aerobic, and high surface media to treat to a tertiary level. This configuration offered buffer storage for managing peak events along with consistent high-level treatment.
Cooperation and Cultural Awareness
Installing a system on Fraser Island presents some unique challenges. True Water worked closely with Fraser Coast Council and Rainbow Recovery for an efficient process. Communication with the council throughout the process smoothed the way. A quick and problem free installation was imperative to reduce interruption to the public. The lack of roads on the island presented another challenge. Working with Rainbow Recovery allowed us to benefit form their local transport expertise.
In addition to the high environmental significance of Fraser Island, there is an important cultural significance. The Butchulla people are the indigenous people of Fraser Island. Unfortunately, a lot of their history and heritage has been lost or destroyed. The Butchulla people want their message – of care and respect for the land – to reach all visitors to the island. Our team carefully followed all cultural heritage duty of care guidelines throughout the project.
Importance of Correct Disposal
Installing the system is just part of the solution, all treated water needs to be disposed of. We chose 700m2 of subsurface drip irrigation as the most practical and appropriate solution. Correct design and installation of the dispersal method is vitally important for wastewater treatment solutions. In fact a good disposal area offers many benefits to a project. The primary focus here was the minimisation of any environmental impact and efficient disposal. Smart design can go a long way to reducing pump run times and loading. This is very important in remote locations like Fraser Island. Along with high level treated water, a good design can hugely extend the life and reliability of a disposal area.
The overall combination of the treatment system and disposal area combines for an excellent solution. It has a small footprint and very good aesthetics. The fragile environment will be protected and visitor facilities have been improved.
The upgrade works for the wastewater system servicing the Eurong amenities on Fraser Island went very smoothly. The installation was quick with minimal public impact. Installing a system, however, is not the end of the story. Any system will require some maintenance to keep it running smoothly for years to come. The low maintenance requirements and high reliability of the Kubota system is another reason we were chosen to do this latest installation.
Here at True Water, we take pride in finding great solutions for even the most challenging locations. As wastewater specialists with access to leading technology, we also provide well rounded and comprehensive solutions. For more information about a solution of your own, contact the team at True Water.