Whitsunday Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrades

This project by Tenix (now Downer) achieved an 'Excellent' Design v1.0 IS Rating.



The upgrade of two treatment plants at Proserpine and Cannonvale are to serve growing communities and meet the most stringent effluent discharge requirements to protect the Great Barrier Reef. They will also provide benefits to the local community by reducing sewage overflows, and improving noise and odour.

The (IS) rating process encouraged Tenix to identify and implement best-practice and innovative sustainability solutions. Receiving Australia’s first IS Rating has endorsed Tenix’s ability to deliver long-term environmental, social and economic benefit for local communities – in this case, local Whitsunday residents, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the 74 Whitsunday Islands that fringe the coastline.

Ross Taylor, Chief Executive Officer - Tenix


  • Rating Type Water
  • Registered Date March 2012
  • Certified Date May 2013
  • Practical Completion May 2014
  • State QLD
  • Suburb Whitsundays
  • Capital Value $45 Million
  • Annual Operating Cost: $10 Million
  • Other Key Stakeholders Whitsunday Regional Council

Rating Breakdown

Management Systems

 Score: 7.3/10.5

  • Good management systems integrating the IS rating tool into practices

  • Knowledge sharing clearly demonstrated.

Procurement and Purchasing

 Score: 4.2/5.0

• Strong commitment to and application of sustainable procurement including local procurement:

  • 50% of total spend in the Whitsunday region

  • 30% of total spend in greater Queensland

Climate Change Adaptation

Score: 4.2/5.0

• Did a thorough, formal climate change risk assessment and implemented controls to reduce 22 ‘high’ or ‘very high’ risks to a ‘moderate’ or ‘low’ rating.


Energy and Carbon

Score: 5.1/10.5

• 305 MWh electricity saved over operational life – thus a 14% reduction equating to $75,000 saving/year

• 14,000 tCO2-e avoided over lifecycle
• Use of B20 Biodiesel avoiding 272 tCO2-e (cost neutral)



Score: 3.9/7.0

• 15% reduction in water use over lifecycle, with associated cost benefit



Score: 7.0/7.0

• Reduced the materials footprint by 25%:

  • Used 4,329 tonnes less concrete

  • Used 298 tonnes less steel

  • Used eco-cement with 30% fly ash

  • Eliminated asphalt from the design



Score: 2.0/2.0

• Ecological value enhanced through >5,000 mof regenerated native habitat and 1000 mof wetland.



Score: 5.0/5.0

• World’s-first trial of Parallel Nitrification & De-Nitrification (PND):

  • Significantly improves nitrogen removal

  • More compact

  • Less construction materials

  • More energy efficient