Sports field Restoration

Palm Island, off the North Queensland coast, had two problems:

  1. a degraded sports field; and
  2. a sewerage treatment system that released nutrients into the adjacent mangrove system and waters of the Great Barrier Reef

The successful solution to these problems involved combining the released nutrients with the upgrade of the sports fields. The approach adopted included a minor upgrade of the sewerage treatment plant to allow filtration and pumping of the nutrients one and half kilometres to the sports field. The nutrient waters were released as part of a sub-surface irrigation system which prevented their direct contact with the surface of the field, thereby protecting players against potential health risks.

Once an appropriate irrigation system was sourced and then custom-designed, the sports field was ripped and contoured to increase the field’s moisture holding capacity, making it softer underfoot. The customised irrigation system was then installed and linked directly to the sewage treatment plant on the island.

Revegetation Contractors applied Green Couch to the field because of its low maintenance and good wearing properties, which is important for any playing surface.

The very distinct advantage of the sub-surface irrigation has proven to be that the nutrients from the effluent remain under ground and are not sprayed on to the surface, thereby significantly reducing any potential health risks for players on the field. The other significant advantage is the decrease in the amount of treated sewage being pumped out into the ocean.

To the best of Revegetation Contractors’ knowledge, this was the first time that treated sewage has been used in a sub-surface irrigation system anywhere in Queensland.