Water Quality

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 provided $500,000 to fund the pilot project and following its success, has committed an additional $500,000 to continue the project, taking PBPL’s total commitment to $1 million over three years.

PBPL worked closely with a range of partners to implement the project, including the Queensland Government, Healthy Waterways and Catchments, and Mulgowie Farming Company.

The pilot project consists of two stages. The first involved stabilising and rehabilitating approximately 750m of eroded creek bank along Laidley Creek – adjoining some of the region’s most valuable horticultural land – and re-planting approximately 4,000 native trees and grasses. The second stage rehabilitated a further 200m of creek bank and constructed two cross-bed grade control structures.  It also included a major research component with scientists using innovative techniques to identify the sources of sediment pollution at the Port.

The results

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

  • the prevention of 4,800 tonnes of sediment – approximately 250 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.

The existing site will be maintained for three years, with additional works to commence in August 2016.


  • 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

Project partners

Healthy Waterways and Catchments, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Mulgowie Farming Company, Queensland Government (Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation), Planfuture, Alluvium, BMT WBM, Griffith University (Australian Rivers Institute).

More information

Port of Brisbane Stormwater Management 
Stormwater Management fact sheet 


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