Aerial view of Deception Bay in Queensland

A new project has started in the Gladstone region that will see more than 11 Olympic sized swimming pools of additional wastewater treated every day, supporting jobs and the region.

Unitywater has commenced work to increase the capacity of the Burpengary East Wastewater Treatment Plant to support the surrounding community’s population and economic growth. 

The catchment of the Burpengary East Wastewater Treatment Plant is experiencing high growth, which is expected to continue. The equivalent population it serves is forecast to increase from approximately 52,000 to 74,000 by 2026. 

Scaling up treatment capacity from approximately ten to almost 14 million litres per day will support that growth while ensuring continued protection of the health of the Caboolture River. 

Executive Manager of Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions at Unitywater Mike Basterfield said this investment underscored Unitywater’s commitment to environmental stewardship and community prosperity. 

“By renewing the infrastructure and improving operational processes, we’re not only meeting the needs of today but also laying the groundwork for sustainable growth and development well into the future,” Mr Basterfield said.  

“Wastewater treatment plants are often the unsung heroes of our community, not only recycling waste for the community but playing an essential role in keeping our community healthy. 

“We commenced construction in May this year, following a comprehensive planning process, to ensure the delivery of the project in an economically and environmentally sustainable way. We expect the project to be complete by the end of 2026.” 

Currently servicing the surrounding regions of Narangba, Burpengary, Beachmere, Burpengary East, Deception Bay and Morayfield, the Burpengary East Wastewater Treatment Plant was first commissioned in the 1970s. 

Mr Basterfield said this will be the first major upgrade to the plant since 2012 and will touch on most components of the treatment process. 

“New inlet works with enhanced odour control will increase plant flow capacity while helping reduce odour experienced by the local community,” Mr Basterfield said.  

“A new bioreactor will enhance the efficiency of organic pollutant degradation, as microorganisms within the reactor break down the nutrients present in wastewater, improving the quality of treated water being returned to the environment.” 

Work will also see a new clarifier constructed, enhanced disinfection systems, and upgraded electrical and control systems. 

Unitywater’s contracted delivery partner, Ventia, will facilitate these upgrades. Up to 200 workers will be onsite throughout the project. 

For more information on the Burpengary East Wastewater Treatment upgrades, visit the Unitywater website at 

Image credit: Alizada Studios/ 

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