Sewage treatment plant project earns UN environmental award

IT has been a World Environment Day to remember for sewerage and water services provider Unitywater.

It has won the business award for Best Specific Environmental Initiative at the UN World Environment Day Awards, presented in Melbourne on Friday night.

The prestigious national award recognises a $17 million project to upgrade Unitywater's Maleny Sewage Treatment Plant and establish its associated wetlands.

Formally opened at a public event a year ago, on June 5, the upgraded plant uses a membrane bioreactor to treat effluent to a very high standard before sending it to an irrigated rainforest and wetlands in the Maleny Community Precinct. This process of natural filtration further disperses and removes nutrients from the nearby Obi Obi Creek.

"To win this UN World Environment Day Award is tremendously exciting for all of us at Unitywater," Simon Taylor, executive manager, infrastructure planning and capital delivery said.

"There are so many reasons why this award is special.

"Not only has it come from an organisation as respected as the United Nations, it was also presented on World Environment Day and it acknowledges just how valuable this facility is to the environment and the community.

"Unitywater shares this impressive award with the wonderful local community and the Maleny Green Hills Fund, who have partnered with us on this initiative."

More than 100 Richmond Birdwing Butterfly Vines and 300 native seedlings were planted at the same, award-winning site yesterday, as part of a Unitywater Creekside Greening event.

The United Nations World Environment Day Awards recognise innovative and outstanding environmental programs and initiatives from across Australia and the important work of Australian environmental leaders.