Finalist: Science Innovation Award


Polychaete-assisted sand filters

Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation along with the Australian Federal Government, Department of Agriculture Fisheries and SEQ Catchments undertook a commercial application of sand filters using Polychaete, or marine worm, to reduce the environmental impact of wastewater.

Prototype sand-filtration beds were constructed at participating prawn and fish farms in the Pumicestone and Burnett Regions to demonstrate their polychaete production and wastewater remediation capacities. Over 34 million litres of wastewater was treated during the trial and  worms produced were sold for bait.

Samples of the worm biomass produced at each trial site were analysed to provide additonal information on its biosecurity status and nutritional content in relation to feeding prawn and fish broodstock.

This innovation offers more ecologically balanced farming systems with benefits including:

- improved water qualities in farm discharge;

 - reduced nutrient wastage; and

 - increased profitability.