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Treatment forums for water quality improvement

Two forums for the improvement of water quality have been held to date:

  • The Treatment Systems in Coastal Catchments Forum - initiative of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. It was held at 400 George Street, Brisbane, 8 July 2016.
  • Treatment Systems for water quality improvement - Regional Forum - was held in Townsville in November 2018.

The 2016 Forum provided an overview of innovative new approaches to treatment systems, including treatment wetlands, floating wetlands, bioreactors, algae treatment and other technologies, which have the potential to reduce nutrients and pesticides from diffuse rural sources in the coastal catchments of Queensland.

The 2018 regional forum was an initiative of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Department of Environment and Science as part of the Queensland Wetlands Program, funded by the Queensland Government Reef Water Quality Program. The two day forum consisted of presentations on treatment systems for water quality improvement by a range of presenters. The next day featured site visits in the Burdekin Catchment.

Herbert Catchment Photo by Carla Wegscheidl

Quick facts

treatment wetlands are often created for the purpose of treating wastewater, or stormwater run-off. However, they may also be created for other purposes such as land rehabilitation for mining and refinery projects, erosion control, or environmental offsetting.

Treatment Systems for water quality improvement - Regional Forum July 2018

Presenter PowerPoints from this regional forum are listed below.

Denitrifying Bioreactors: a useful tool to improve water quality and their future development

Professor Louis Schipper, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

Bioremediation of wastewater using freshwater macroalgae

Professor Rocky de Nys, James Cook University and MBD Industries

High Efficiency Sediment (HES) basins

Adrian Crocetti, Water by Design

Reactive Filter Media

Eric Love, Centre for Organic Research and Education (CORE)

Babinda treatment train and treatment systems

Liz Owen, Jaragun NRM and Alexander Cheesman, JCU

Denitrification bioreactor wall trials in South East Queensland

Dr Fabio Manca, Queensland University of Technology

Treatment systems in agricultural areas: lessons learnt

Dr Mark Bayley, Australian Wetlands Consulting

Treatment Systems in Coastal Catchments Forum July 2016

Treatment systems in coastal catchment summary report

The summary report provides a summary of the speaker's presentations, questions and answers from the Treatment Systems in Coastal Catchments Forum held on 8 July 2016.

For more information on various treatment systems see the videos below.

Overview of monitoring in SEQ and GBR catchments

Ryan Turner, Principal Scientist, Department of Science Information Technology Innovation

Nutrient budgets, pools and processes in wetlands

Phil Moody, Science Division, Department of Science, Information, Technology and Innovation

Can wetlands save the reef?

Dr. Tom Headley, Water and Carbon Group

Wet/Dry Tropics Constructed wetlands

Dr Peter Breen, E2DesignLab

Landscape scale wetlands for water quality improvements

Dr Mark Bayley, Australian Wetlands Consulting (AWC)

Floating treatment wetlands

Andy Hornbuckle, SPEL Environmental and University of the Sunshine Coast

Denitrifying bioreactors—opportunities for nitrate removal

Prof Louis Schipper, University Waikato

Bioremediation using freshwater algae

Andrew Lawson, MBD Energy Limited


Dr Simon Tannock, AlgaEnviro

Shellfish reefs for water quality treatment

Susie Chapman, Healthy Waterways and Catchments


The treatment systems resources provided here are a reflection of the presentations at the time of the Treatment Forum and are not Queensland Government policy. Neither the Queensland Government nor the Department of Environment and Science (DES) accept liability for any decisions made or actions taken on the basis of this information. In particular, users are advised to refer to the current acts and regulations of the Queensland Parliament which DES administers and current DES policies and practices.

Additional information

The Wetland Management Handbook is a useful resource, providing information and advice on planning, designing, constructing, managing and maintaining constructed wetlands.

National Standards for the practice of Ecological Restoration in Australia

Fact sheets


Last updated: 4 February 2019

This page should be cited as:

Treatment forums for water quality improvement, WetlandInfo 2018, Department of Environment and Science, Queensland, viewed 11 February 2019, <>.

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science