Pond Project

Pond Project

Maturation ponds/lagoons are used worldwide as secondary or tertiary treatment steps for wastewater treatment, and in some cases, as the only treatment.  In Australia, hundreds of municipal treatment systems rely on pond technology (facultative and maturation ponds) as a disinfection process, particularly in smaller towns and rural areas. The treated wastewater is usually held in maturation ponds for several days to weeks before being recycled or released into the environment. The main aim of using these ponds is for pathogen reduction, yet very few studies have been carried out to quantify and qualify the efficacy of disinfection with respect to specific pathogens. This collaborative project represents a unique opportunity to investigate and validate the treatment efficacy of maturation ponds in the context of safe water recycling from multiple disciplinary perspectives, namely, pond hydraulics, microbiology, chemistry, ecotoxicology and public health. Each discipline involved in the project will address specific, key elements that need to be understood to evaluate these systems effectively, yet all are intrinsically linked. One of the key aims is to elucidate the key factors and mechanisms involved in pathogen die-off within treatment ponds. Our involvement with this project is to co-ordinate field site logistics for the remote NT community pond site, and track sewage effluent pathogens and faecal indicators using conventional culturing, quantitative PCR and other techniques. Project proponents include the research organisations Griffith University, University of the Sunshine Coast, Central Queensland University and SA Water, and industry partner Power and Water Corporation.

Anna Padovan's picture
Anna Padovan
Research Fellow

Primary research group

Coastal Processes and Monitoring