Albany Tree Farm case study

Recycled water from Albany Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is being used to irrigate 2 Tasmanian Blue Gum plantations at Albany Tree Farm.

2 billion

litres water replaced with recycled water

5 billion

litres recycled water irrigated 10 farms (2012–13)

9

woodlots also established using recycled water

Why we acted

The tree farms aim to provide wastewater management while providing commercial benefits and employment for Albany. 

Albany Tree Farm

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How we did it

The Albany Tree Farm was developed between 1992 and 1994 following extensive public consultation with the people of Albany. 

Albany Tree Farm 1 

Albany Tree Farm 1 was first irrigated in 1995. It covers 550 hectares, of which 285 hectares are planted with Tasmanian Blue Gum and 185 hectares are planted with rain-fed trees and natural vegetation. This vegetation serves as a buffer for excess irrigation water and nutrients. The rest of the site consists of the overland flow treatment area and storage dams.

Albany Tree Farm 2 

Albany Tree Farm 2 started irrigating with recycled water in 2011. The site is 230 hectares with 21 hectares of rain-fed Blue Gum planted as a buffer for excess water.

What we are doing now

Every year, as well as groundwater and/or surface water for irrigation being replaced with recycled water, the Albany Tree Farm also diverts treated wastewater from being released into the environment. 

Albany Tree Farm

The recycled water contains nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous, which are necessary for plant growth and reduces the need to fertilise the site. The scheme provides a climate independent water source for the irrigation of both tree farms. 

Albany Tree Farm was our first commercial tree farm irrigated with recycled water. The experience and technical expertise in this area have helped us establish 9 other woodlots to increase recycling.

Key features:

Source

  • Albany WWTP and two irrigation / storage dams

Conveyance

  • The irrigation pumps draw water from the main dam

End use

  • 'Fit-for-purpose' water for use to irrigate tree farms
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