Finalist: Science Innovation Award

Seqwater & Central Queensland University

Alum Sludge: Waste no more
North Pine Water Treatment Plant, Joyner

Seqwater currently produces approximately 70,000 wet tonnes of alum sludge each year which is disposed to landfill with few waste management alternatives. 

Seqwater Environmental Coordinator Simon Clements established a project to test the feasibility of using alum sludge as a growth medium with four native Australian plant species using various blends of alum sludge and organic matter. The project also aimed to identify the quantity of sludge constituents (e.g. aluminium) removed by vegetation in a process known as phytoremediation.

This research opens up the opportunity to reduce the unnecessary disposal of alum sludge to landfill therefore improving environmental stewardship.