In a world-first, RegenAqua has developed breakthrough wastewater technology using macroalgae to remove harmful nutrients before it enters waterways and pollutes the Great Barrier Reef.
And the launch of RegenAqua’s technology comes after its successful project at Burdekin Shire Council’s wastewater treatment facility.
RegenAqua’s successful macroalgal bioremediation facility at the Ayr-Brandon wastewater treatment plant proved the technology to be a cost-effective, carbon-neutral and sustainable solution for water quality improvement in both the Great Barrier Reef catchment, and ultimately, Australia wide.
Scientifically developed over ten years at James Cook University, RegenAqua’s macroalgal bioremediation technology uses native Australian seaweed and macroalgae combined with sunlight to naturally remove contaminants such as phosphorus and nitrogen from municipal wastewater treatment plants, aquaculture farming, abattoirs and agriculture.
Since the inception of the Burdekin Shire Council’s project in March 2021, the facility has exceeded all expectations, delivering positive results with nutrient pollutant reductions to below global best practice of 5mg/L Nitrogen and 1mg/L Phosphorus.
Australian of The Year and climate change scientist Professor Tim Flannery said: “RegenAqua is a game-changer for the health of the Great Barrier Reef, with incredible potential for removing harmful nutrients from our aquatic environment, and significantly improving coastal and reef ecosystems Australia-wide.”
Flannery adds, “It’s an absolute no-brainer sustainable solution that’s going to change the landscape of industries – for the better. The announcement of this project moving forward confirms the industry’s confidence in RegenAqua’s technology, and I am excited to witness the results.”
Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said: “Council, together with James Cook University and Pacific Bio (RegenAqua), has invested significantly in the macroalgal bioremediation urban waste project. This project is the first of its kind and will revolutionise the treatment of wastewater for all smaller coastal Councils: the facility is significantly cheaper to both construct and maintain than a traditional tertiary wastewater treatment plant.”
RegenAqua harvests and repurposes the macroalgae for the agriculture industry, converting it into a bio-stimulant for farmers to produce stronger crops that establish quicker and are more resilient to heat, drought and the impacts of herbicide and fungicide applications.
Pacific Bio CEO Sam Bastounas said: “This ground-breaking world first announcement will see the team at Burdekin Shire Council and Pacific Bio partner together to show how RegenAqua can provide a bioremediation solution for urban tertiary wastewater treatment.
“It is a low cost, zero-carbon solution that captures harmful nutrients and turns them into high crop yielding bio-stimulants via a Pacific Bio product called PlantJuice. It is the most carbon efficient wastewater treatment solution in that it both sequesters and abates carbon and is a world-leading circular economy solution.
“The RegenAqua technology has been proven at scale at Pacific Bio’s onshore aquaculture facility, Pacific Reef Fisheries. Assessments of competing traditional wastewater treatment processes have shown RegenAqua to cost one quarter of the capital and one fifth of the operating expenses.”