Wannon Water directors Rob Wallis (left), Kate Fraser and chairman John Vogels inspect some of the goldfish to be used in the trial. A LANDMARK project using goldfish to reduce environmental impacts at a sewage plant will put Hamilton on the national innovation map.
Nanjing Night Net

While other species such as silver perch and bully mullet have been trialled, the popular household goldfish has proved most effective in reducing costs and environmental impacts of sewage treatment.

Wannon Water’s board of directors has endorsed the continuation of the research project and last week 1700 goldfish joined the 1000 currently in the experimental tanks at the Hamilton water reclamation plant.

Managing director Grant Green said Wannon Water, in partnership with Deakin University, was “fine-tuning” its research integrating aquaculture and sewage treatment.

“Over the past two years more than 20,000 fish have been monitored in the 15 Hamilton experimental tanks,” Mr Green said.

“The goldfish have thrived on consuming and removing nutrients and sludge from sewage.

“This process is being pioneered in western Victoria, using aquaculture to improve the quality of recycled water and reduce reliance on costly mechanical de-sludging.

“Importantly, using goldfish as part of the treatment process will cut carbon emissions and reduce operating costs.”

Ongoing research will continue to assess the potential of goldfish to assist the sewage treatment process at other Wannon Water reclamation plants.

Chairman John Vogels said the board visited the Hamilton plant last week to see the research progress.

“This will save us a lot of money a million plus every year if it works,” Mr Vogels said.

“It’s going to save Wannon Water customers a lot of money in the long term.

“You see the treatment plant with all the sludge in it, you put the goldfish in and they clean it out.

“It’s a trial but so far it’s going perfectly.

“Every now and then we had to bring in cleaning equipment to d-sludge it and clean it out.

“This way we can keep using it, we don’t have to pay a million dollars to clean it, and it’s that clear you can see them bottom.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.