Term Paper: Redland Water Treatment: Capalaba Treatment Plant

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[. . .] d).

Pontoon Maintenance: dead plants need to be replaced regularly to ensure the pools' absorption capacities are maintained. Additionally, mature plants need to be harvested from time to enable nutrient export and create space for new growth (Truong & Hart, n.d).

Stage 2: the hydroponically-treated effluent "is released by trickle irrigation to the main Vetiver grass wetland area" (Ash and Truong, n.d, Para 5.1.2). At this stage, the effluent is reduced considerably, and the Vetiver plants absorb the stronger life and property-damaging metals, including CU, Se, Ni, Pb, Hg, Cd, Cr, and As, as well as nitrogen and phosphorus (Piemento, Falco and Basil, 2013)

Wetland Area Specifications: Vetiver grass is planted on contour lines and in rows spread 12 meters from each other (Piemento, Falco and Basil, 2013). The contours are meant to increase infiltration by slowing down effluent velocity and effectively trapping sediment, particularly during storms. Earth mounds can be placed behind the grass rows to provide extra reinforcement before the plants can establish and support themselves against flood-irrigated effluents (Piemento, Falco and Basil, 2013). Once the plants are fully established, the mounds are removed and their role taken over by the grass rows.

The plant has two wetland areas. Each wetland area has its own pipeline feeding it with effluent from the primary treatment ponds, which makes it possible to either operate both at the same time, or operate one, as the other undergoes maintenance.

VS vs. The Traditional Treatment Scheme

The VS has not been in use for a long time, but there already is evidence that effluent quality, with regard to nutrient loads, has improved. With the traditional system, the phosphorus level in affluent ranged between 4.6 and 8.8 mg/L; whereas the new system recorded a low 1.2mg/L phosphorus level. Table 1 presents details of all affluent components.

Table 1: Affluent Components in the Traditional and Vetiver Grass Systems


Pond levels (traditionally)

Pond levels (with VS)


7.7 to 9.4 mg/L

9.4 to 9.7 mg/L


1.7 to 9.1 mg/L

0.07 to 0.57mg/L

Total Nitrogen

13 to 20 mg/L

6.7 to 7.3 mg/L

Total Phosphorus

4.6 to 8.8 mg/L

1.2 to 2.1 mg/L

Dissolved oxygen

12.5 to 21 mg/L

9.3 to 21 mg/L

BOD (5 day)

29 to 70 mg/L

32 to 42 mg/L

Fecal Coliform

60 to 800 counts/100ml

13 to 580 counts/100ml

(Source: Ash and Truong, n.d).


Capalaba is a rural area and most of the affluent from the plant is disposed via land irrigation (AMPC, 2005). One of the factors that favor this choice of disposal method is the availability of land. The city council of Redland owns most of the land around the Capalaba Treatment Plant (AMPC, 2005). Effluent loadings have many benefits. Nutrient uptake by tree lots and stock feed are some of their most significant benefits. As a matter of fact, the plant's affluent is the main source of water for its Vetiver plants (Ash and Truong, n.d).


Sustainable development is an area that has, over the years, gained significant world-wide appeal from both the developed and the underdeveloped world. Now, more than ever, countries are working towards developing chemical processes that are not only safe, but also energy-efficient, flexible, compact, and environmentally benign. Vetiver grass waste water treatment technology is one such process - it has been proven to be effective and has already been adopted as a treatment scheme in countries such as Australia and China.

Reference List

AMPC, 2005. Waste Water. AMPC [online] Available at http://www.ampc.com.au/site/assets/media/reports/Resources/Wastewater-enviromental-best-practice-manual.pdf

Ash, R. And Truong, P., n.d.The Use of Vetiver Grass Wetlands for Sewerage Treatment in Australia. Dokuz Eylul University Library [online] Available at http://web.deu.edu.tr/atiksu/ana58/new80.pdf

Piemonte, V., De Falco, M. And Basile, A. Eds., 2013. Sustainable Development in Chemical Engineering: Innovative Technologies. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons

Redland City Council, 2010. Waste Water. Redland City Council [online] Available at http://www.redland.qld.gov.au/EnvironmentWaste/Water/Pages/Wastewater.aspx

Truong, P. And Hart, B., n.d. Vetiver System for Waste Water Treatment. IPCP [online] Available at http://www.ipcp.org.br/IPCP-MA/Projects/CNPqSolos/VetiverDocs/PRVN_wastewater_bul.pdf

Truong, P., n.d. Clean Water shortage: An Imminent Global Crisis: How Vetiver System can Reduce Its Impact. Vetiver [online] Available at http://www.vetiver.org/AUS_Water%20quality.pdf [END OF PREVIEW]

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