Through collaboration with Water Technologies and South East Queensland (SEQ) Water, Austral Bricks Queensland have received a subsidy under the Business Water Efficiency Program (BWEP) to improve their Riverview and Rochedale manufacturing sites’ water usage. The government subsidy was applied in two main areas on the sites to improve overall water efficiency and achieve more sustainable production.

The first part of the water savings programme was the implementation of a BWEP rebate enabling the upgrading of taps, showers and toilets with water saving devices. The second stage of the programme subsidised a vast percentage of the overall cost of a recycled water system. The financial investment has significantly reduced the amount of water used in the manufacturing process at both plants.

Previously the Riverview plant’s mains water usage was on an average from 16,000 to 20,000 litres per day. As a result of the new recycled water system and the water saving devices installed on ancillary devices around the site, mains water usage is now just 2,000 to 3,000 litres per day.

Another way of looking at the savings is to consider the Riverview plant’s potential capacity of producing around 45 million bricks per annum where approximately 6,420 houses at an average of 7,000 bricks per house lot can now be constructed from bricks with 100% recycled water.

Before the introduction of the new system, Rochedale’s average water consumption was approximately 71 Kilolitres per day. The successful completion of the project has seen the average town water usage shrink to just 8,000 litres a day, resulting in saving of 63 Kilolitres per day or around 88%.

Both projects include a dam for collecting rainwater, a pumping station, a pipeline with dual delivery points, extruder tank, and pressure pumps for delivering constant water pressure to the extruders. The system also incorporates a rota meter with flow rate control valve and PLC driven control panels for both the dam pumping station and the extruder water control panel.

The system enables water delivery used in the manufacturing process to be more easily adjusted to allow for changes in moisture requirements and also for total recycled water delivery, removing the need for mains water use in the extruder side of the manufacturing process.

Simon Bateman, Austral Bricks QLD marketing manager said that the implementation of this system at both Austral Bricks’ Riverview and Rochedale plants is a clear demonstration of Austral Bricks Queensland’s commitment to working with government and industry partners to protect the environment, reduce reliance on precious resources and to discover new and innovative ways of making brick manufacturing a sustainable business.