Unitywater has purchased two lots of former cane farming land on River Road, Maroochy River as part of a larger program to improve the health of the rivers and creeks in the area.
Much of the former cane land will be restored as wetlands. This wetland will remove nutrients and sediments from the river, which will improve river health.
Unitywater will be able to offset the amount of nutrients removed by these wetlands against the nutrients discharged to the Maroochy River following treatment of the local community’s sewage.IN THE NEWS
The Australian: Man-made Yandina Creek wetland "an asset worth preserving"My Sunshine Coast: Environment the winner with purchase of land at Yandina CreekSunshine Coast Daily: Multi-million dollar deal secures future of internationally-significant wetland
ABC Online: Sewage deal helps secure preservation of "significant" wetlands on Sunshine Coast
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Unitywater is pursuing nutrient offsetting as a low-cost alternative to treatment plant upgrades that also enables us to protect human health and the environment.
At Yandina Creek, Unitywater will make the most of the natural processes by re-establishing the wetland environment and allowing tidal water from the river to enter parts of the site.The wetland plants and micro-organisms in the soil will take up the nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus from the tidal water.
Unitywater calculates how much nutrients the site will take up and this is incorporated into its treatment plant environmental licence limits. FAST FACT: These wetlands are estimated to remove 5.3 tonnes of total nitrogen per annum.The end result? We meet our licence limits, public health is safeguarded, the environment is protected and we cater for growth, all thanks to a sensible strategy of letting nature take its course.
Click to see nutrient offsetting explained. (Opens in a new window.)
Unitywater has a Site Management Plan in place to guide and inform maintenance and care of the land at Yandina Creek.
How we will look after the site
Access to the site: Access to the site is prohibited until Unitywater has completed all of the work it needs to do, and to maintain public safety while this work takes place. Only people who are authorised by Unitywater in writing may access the land. All of the land around Unitywater's land is privately owned and must not be used to access Unitywater's land.
Plants and wildlife at the site
The building blocks of vegetation recovery can already be seen on the Yandina site, and as Unitywater moves to re-establish the wetland environment, these plant communities should expand in the years ahead, including:
- salt pan vegetation including grassland and sedgeland
- melaleuca open forest.
As the wetland re-establishes itself in the years ahead, a range of birds and animals should return to the site.
Unitywater will be routinely inspecting the site to monitor the re-establishment of the wetland environment. Initially, this will include monitoring the vegetation, local waterways and soils.
Unitywater will commence the review of available opportunities in 2017-18 for additional monitoring projects in the years ahead to better understand and track both the wildlife and plant life and other benefits of the wetland re-establishing at the site. This may involve Unitywater collaborating with local government, education providers, community and interest groups. Watch this space!
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ABOVE (left to right): Unitywater Environmental Affairs Manager Kylie Crouch, Strategic Planning Manager Partha Susarla and Facilities Manager Greg Burnett on site at Yandina Creek.
Carefully select plants for around swimming pool to protect it from wind. Wind increases the amount of water lost to evaporation.