Desalination and the environment
The Desalination Plant was built with a strong focus on the environment.
The Capital Wind Farm produces more than enough energy to offset the energy used by the Desalination Plant. The wind farm was a huge boost to green power in NSW and provides an environmentally sustainable way to supply the power needs of the Desalination Plant.
Protecting the marine and estuarine environment is also a key priority for the SDP. Research has shown that after the seawater concentrate is discharged, the ocean will return to its normal salinity and temperature within 50 – 75 metres from the outlet point.
The Desalination Plant is located on a site that covers 45 hectares. This includes 15 hectares of environmental conservation area. This is a protected area and native species of flora and fauna are closely monitored. This includes a program to survey the numbers of grey headed flying foxes and green and golden bell frogs in the area.
Koala Support Program
Koalas are extinct on the Kurnell Peninsula and an opportunity arose to help supply eucalyptus leaves to feed the Koalas at the Symbio Wildlife Zoo at Helensburgh. Koala’s eat about 500grams of eucalyptus leaves each per day.
In July 2021, about 400 eucalypts, which are native to the peninsular, were planted on an unused section of the site and an irrigation system has been installed to supply them with water during the summer season. It is hoped that in 18 months to two years the trees will be large enough to start harvesting the leaves which will then be taken to Helensburgh to assist maintaining a healthy Koalas population. The trees will also provide a wildlife corridor between the La Perouse Land Council lands on to the east of the site and the Conservation Area and through to the Towra Point Wetlands on Botany Bay.
This project is a small contribution to helping one of Australia’s national icons to survive into the future.