Applying Urban Stormwater Modelling to Aquaculture Prawn Farm Effluent in Queensland

Flores, Manuel (2020) Applying Urban Stormwater Modelling to Aquaculture Prawn Farm Effluent in Queensland. [USQ Project]

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Aquaculture in Australia represents 43% of Australian seafood and its current net worth is AU$2.81 billion, with an expectancy to climb to AU$3.40 billion by the 2020- 20221 harvest season. Current research by The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) has estimated that by the year 2030 an additional of 25 tonnes of seafood will be in demand globally.

All aquaculture operations in Australia are regulated and managed by a strict environmental act and monitored on an ongoing basis. These regulations have made Queensland the leading area in effluent treatment for their reticulation systems. Their current methods consist of 30% of the farmed land to be dedicated to treatment and the area increases if using bioremediation on top.

The aims of this dissertation were to simulate, analyse, and compare the efficiency of urban stormwater methodologies in dealing with prawn farm effluent pollutants in Queensland. Their performance was evaluated through the software MUSIC and categorised in 4 sections: total suspended solids (TSS), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorous (TP), and gross pollutants (GP). A cost analysis was undertaken and based on manufacturer’s unit prices or average square metre construction cost, found from publications.

It was found that urban stormwater devices manufactured by Ocean Protect were not a feasible option due to their design, flow rate for each filter cartridge, and unit cost to provide efficiency equivalent to other stormwater methodologies. SPEL’s proprietary floating wetlands manage to reduce the surface area by 100% compared to best practice methods but were also the costliest form of treatment. Results of the models have ranked the treatment methods from best to worst as: bioretention with carbon filter, bioretention (no carbon), SPEL floating wetlands, constructed wetlands, Stormfilters, and Jellyfish. The models with combined treatment methods scored as the second best but due to their total combined cost they are not feasible options. The most inexpensive option is the vegetated bioretention (no carbon), as it produced removal rates higher than best practice in 3 of the 4 categories with TP falling just short. Those removals rates are 95%, 85%, 71%, and 100% for TSS, TN, TP, and GP. The total surface area required was 79% smaller than best practice, and with an average construction price of $280,000 which is only 1.5 times the cost of best practise methods.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Trzcinski, Antoine
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civil)
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2021 01:34
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 04:01

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