Water Quality

Water quality is a key environmental focus at the Port of Brisbane.
 
The Port is located directly adjacent to the Moreton Bay Marine Park and close to the Moreton Bay RAMSAR site. These protected areas include a number of sensitive habitats such as seagrass, mangroves, salt marsh and coral reefs.
 
Research has identified sediment as a major factor that negatively impacts water quality in Moreton Bay. The majority of sediment in the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay comes from the regional catchment – mostly from degraded creek banks and beds.
 
The Port of Brisbane has the potential to impact on local water quality through stormwater runoff, dredging, and general vessel movement.  These potential impacts are all managed and minimised by our internationally-accredited Environmental Management System and in accordance with relevant State and Federal legislation.

Stormwater management at the Port

Stormwater management at the Port

Stormwater runoff has the potential to carry sediment, nutrients and other contaminants such as oils, greases and heavy metals into the surrounding environment. A variety of urban sensitive stormwater design principles and stormwater treatment systems are used at the port to ensure that the impacts of stormwater runoff on the receiving environment is minimised.

Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (PBPL) monitors the condition of the port's stormwater to assess the effectiveness of control measures and the quality of waters discharged into the environment.

Offsite Stormwater Treatment Project 

The project

PBPL is leading Queensland’s first scientifically-based and assessed offsite stormwater treatment project in the Lockyer Valley.

PBPL worked closely with a range of partners to implement the project, including the Queensland Government, Healthy Land and Water, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, and Mulgowie Farming Company.

To date PBPL has invested $1million dollars to rehabilitate and stabilise 1.7km of Laidley Creek. Works delivered include bank re-profiling, the planting and maintenance of 9,000 native plants and the installation of 4 cross-bed grade control structures. The works also include a major research component with scientists using innovative techniques to identify and monitor the sources of sediment pollution.

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The results

To date, rehabilitation of this upper catchment area has delivered significant environmental benefits including:

  • the prevention of 8,500 tonnes of sediment – approximately 445 truckloads of dirt – from entering Laidley Creek, anticipated each year

  • significant water quality improvements to the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay

  • improved flora and fauna habitats at the site

  • increased agricultural productivity at the site by improving land security and providing protection from future flood events.

Cyclone Debbie Update

  • On the afternoon and evening of Thursday 30 March 2017 there was a significant stormwater event in Laidley Creek. The project performed exceptionally well and results are summarised in this video:
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Awards

  • 2016 Healthy Waterways Awards - Sustainable Water Management Award and the Minister’s Grand Prize

  • 2016 Australian Engineering Excellence Awards - Queensland Environmental Excellence Award

  • 2016 Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry Awards - Environmental Transport Awards

  • ​2018 International RiverFoundation Australasia Riverprize Finalist

Project partners

Healthy Land and Water, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Mulgowie Farming Company, Queensland Government (Department of Environment and Science, Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning), Planfuture, Alluvium, BMT WBM, Griffith University (Australian Rivers Institute).

More information

Port of Brisbane Stormwater Management 
Stormwater Management fact sheet 

Development at the Port

Developers at the Port need to comply with the Port of Brisbane Technical Guidelines. These guidelines require developers to manage and treat stormwater. Qualifying developers have the opportunity to partially meet stormwater quality requirements by investing into the Port’s offsite program at a rate of $30,000 per hectare. PBPL tracks development at the Port that is utilising offsite investment. The below tables summarises the investments made in Laidley Creek and the area of port development ‘treated offsite’.

Table 1: This table summarises the investment made by the Port of Brisbane offsite and the amount of land at the port that has utilised the investment.

Year Offsite Investment Hectares Used Hectares Remaining
2015/16 $500,000 17.795 2.205
2016/17 $500,000 0 22.205
2017/18 $0 6.17 15.495
2018/19* $0 5.48 10.015

*current 31 January 2019


Groundwater

Groundwater

PBPL implements a program that monitors the chemical and physical characteristics of the port's groundwater. This monitoring can assist in identifying any activities at the port which may have caused an impact on local groundwater (e.g. leaks or spills) and allows action to be taken to address any issues.


Ambient water quality

Ambient water quality

PBPL conducted a long term monitoring of ambient water quality adjacent to the port which demonstrated that our land based operations are not having an impact on water quality around us. The funding for this monitoring program has now been diverted to Healthy Waterways who aim to improve water quality through a holistic catchment management approach.


Drinking water quality

Drinking water quality

Via the Queensland Urban Utilities’ water supply, PBPL is responsible and committed to maintaining the onsite potable water reticulation network to ensure zero harm to employees or the public. A detailed Drinking Water Quality Management Plan is in place as legislated by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

2017-2018 Drinking Water Quality Report 


Stormwater management at the Port

Stormwater runoff has the potential to carry sediment, nutrients and other contaminants such as oils, greases and heavy metals into the surrounding environment. A variety of urban sensitive stormwater design principles and stormwater treatment systems are used at the port to ensure that the impacts of stormwater runoff on the receiving environment is minimised.

Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (PBPL) monitors the condition of the port's stormwater to assess the effectiveness of control measures and the quality of waters discharged into the environment.

Offsite Stormwater Treatment Project 

The project

PBPL is leading Queensland’s first scientifically-based and assessed offsite stormwater treatment project in the Lockyer Valley.

PBPL worked closely with a range of partners to implement the project, including the Queensland Government, Healthy Land and Water, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, and Mulgowie Farming Company.

To date PBPL has invested $1million dollars to rehabilitate and stabilise 1.7km of Laidley Creek. Works delivered include bank re-profiling, the planting and maintenance of 9,000 native plants and the installation of 4 cross-bed grade control structures. The works also include a major research component with scientists using innovative techniques to identify and monitor the sources of sediment pollution.


The results

To date, rehabilitation of this upper catchment area has delivered significant environmental benefits including:

  • the prevention of 8,500 tonnes of sediment – approximately 445 truckloads of dirt – from entering Laidley Creek, anticipated each year

  • significant water quality improvements to the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay

  • improved flora and fauna habitats at the site

  • increased agricultural productivity at the site by improving land security and providing protection from future flood events.

Cyclone Debbie Update

  • On the afternoon and evening of Thursday 30 March 2017 there was a significant stormwater event in Laidley Creek. The project performed exceptionally well and results are summarised in this video:

Awards

  • 2016 Healthy Waterways Awards - Sustainable Water Management Award and the Minister’s Grand Prize

  • 2016 Australian Engineering Excellence Awards - Queensland Environmental Excellence Award

  • 2016 Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry Awards - Environmental Transport Awards

  • ​2018 International RiverFoundation Australasia Riverprize Finalist

Project partners

Healthy Land and Water, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Mulgowie Farming Company, Queensland Government (Department of Environment and Science, Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning), Planfuture, Alluvium, BMT WBM, Griffith University (Australian Rivers Institute).

More information

Port of Brisbane Stormwater Management 
Stormwater Management fact sheet 

Development at the Port

Developers at the Port need to comply with the Port of Brisbane Technical Guidelines. These guidelines require developers to manage and treat stormwater. Qualifying developers have the opportunity to partially meet stormwater quality requirements by investing into the Port’s offsite program at a rate of $30,000 per hectare. PBPL tracks development at the Port that is utilising offsite investment. The below tables summarises the investments made in Laidley Creek and the area of port development ‘treated offsite’.

Table 1: This table summarises the investment made by the Port of Brisbane offsite and the amount of land at the port that has utilised the investment.

Year Offsite Investment Hectares Used Hectares Remaining
2015/16 $500,000 17.795 2.205
2016/17 $500,000 0 22.205
2017/18 $0 6.17 15.495
2018/19* $0 5.48 10.015

*current 31 January 2019

Groundwater

PBPL implements a program that monitors the chemical and physical characteristics of the port's groundwater. This monitoring can assist in identifying any activities at the port which may have caused an impact on local groundwater (e.g. leaks or spills) and allows action to be taken to address any issues.

Ambient water quality

PBPL conducted a long term monitoring of ambient water quality adjacent to the port which demonstrated that our land based operations are not having an impact on water quality around us. The funding for this monitoring program has now been diverted to Healthy Waterways who aim to improve water quality through a holistic catchment management approach.

Drinking water quality

Via the Queensland Urban Utilities’ water supply, PBPL is responsible and committed to maintaining the onsite potable water reticulation network to ensure zero harm to employees or the public. A detailed Drinking Water Quality Management Plan is in place as legislated by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

2017-2018 Drinking Water Quality Report