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Covey and the Environment

Check out the Coast world-first causing a stir in France
scd Sunshine Coast Daily - 27th Jul 2016 2:00 PM

WETLAND WONDERLAND: The Parklakes 2 community at Bli Bli includes a floating wetland. The Sunshine Coast’s world-first floating wetlands have been showcased at an international conference for urban water managers in France.

Located at Bli Bli’s Parklakes 2 master planned community, the floating wetlands sit on top of a lake, with roots helping filter sediment from water run-off.

Three of the Sunshine Coast’s leading engineering and environmental professionals attended the 9th International Novatech Conference in Lyon last month to present findings from the floating wetland treatment system’s installation.

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Kevin Covey, Damion MacDonald and Dr Chris Walker from Maroochydore’s Covey Associates were invited to present on the project which was attended by some of the world’s leading engineers, scientists, consultants, environmentalists and academics.

Dr Walker said he and Mr MacDonald were honoured to present a paper at the conference as it placed the innovative work of Coveys in the international research spotlight.

It also “firmly reinforced” the Sunshine Coast Council’s collaborative effort to support leading edge engineering which will provide long term sustainable benefits to the local community, he said.

“There’s no doubt that our participation in the Novatech conference will encourage engineers and academics from across the globe to come to the Sunshine Coast and inspect what we are doing with the FWTS at Parklakes 2,” Dr Walker said.

“Novatech is one of the biggest and most prestigious stormwater conferences in the world.”

He said it was “great to be able highlight clear and tangible benefits of the floating wetland approach”, which yielded a savings of $1 million during construction.

“Ultimately, we think the savings will well and truly surpass that, as we are forecasting much lower ongoing maintenance costs,” Dr Walker said.Mr MacDonald said there wasn’t a spare seat in the room and feedback from attendees was very positive.

Kevin Covey said the opportunity to present at the conference was a real feather in the cap for Covey Associates as it highlighted how a Sunshine Coast based firm can deliver innovative leading edge projects just like their metropolitan counterparts.

“The FWTS is certainly one of the most rewarding projects that I have been involved with and the collaborative efforts of all project partners should be applauded, including the developers of Parklakes 2 who have funded the project, and are also supporting a USC PhD student, Peter Schwammberger, to undertake research on the system over the next four years,” he said.

“Sunshine Coast Council were also quick to pick up on the innovation and cost saving behind this project and it reinforces their mantra of supporting sustainable and cutting-edge projects throughout the region.

“When you look at the collaborative approach that we have undertaken with Council as well as USC and the developers of Parklakes 2 then it’s clear that the Sunshine Coast is not only open for business, it’s also very open to innovative thinking in how projects are delivered.”

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