Name: Tony Heading - Head of Agriculture Department
Location: Stanthorpe State High School,Queensland
As an educational institution with a commercial agricultural focus, we encounter the same water
issues as other property owners within the Stanthorpe region. The school grows stone fruit,
wine grapes and forage crops, all of which are irrigated with recycled water purchased from
the local shire council. The orchard and vineyard are irrigated with recycled water through drip
systems requiring high standards of filtration.
The challenge of recycled water, however, is to use the nutrient-rich water without growing
algae, which can develop during temporary pond storage. The algae utilise the nitrogen
and phosphorus nutrients, reduce oxygen levels, cause sludge problems in storages and
clog the filters and irrigation emitters. In the peak of summer, we were cleaning and
back-flushing our filtrationsystem every twenty minutes.
After extensive research into alternative filtration systems, chemical and ultrasonic methods
of algal control, we investigated ways of blocking the sunlight essential for algal growth.
By chance, we learnt of the E-VapCapÃ¯Â¿Â½cover developed by Warwick Hill of Evaporation
Control Systems (ECS). Darling Downs Tarpaulins fabricated and installed a cover on our 3000
square metre dam used to store our recycled water.
Within four days of installation, our blockages had stopped and we can now go for weeks
without cleaning the filtration system. After nine months of our trial, we are extremely pleased
with the product.Not only have we solved our algal problems, but also we have the
added benefit of saving water lost by evaporation.
With an anticipated life span of around 10 years, we believe the E-VapCapÃ¯Â¿Â½ cover
will more than hold its own in the longer term when the real value of water is factored in.