Use of biosolids leaves bitter taste for Mackay Sugar

IF YOU were shocked to read biosolids were being used as fertiliser on Mackay crops, you are not alone.

Mackay Sugar was also left in the dark about the procedure.

"We know that grey water is often used for irrigation by growers; however, we were unaware of biosolids being applied directly to cane fields," a Mackay Sugar spokeswoman said.

Yesterday the Daily Mercury reported biosolids, the organic matter created from the sewage treatment process, which contains human waste, had been used on Mackay farms for the past five years.

The Mercury's Facebook Page had posts from readers who were supportive and bitterly opposed to the process. Christopher Cowan commented: "No different from using chook, cow, horse poo in your garden."

While others, like Nikki McWhinney raised health concerns: "I thought that human biowaste was not to be used on food for human consumption? Not allowed in market gardens etc so not allowed on cane?" Meanwhile, a Mackay Sugar spokeswoman said their mill ponds, which had been blamed for one smelly issue, had been investigated.

"In response to recent community complaints regarding odour within the Ooralea/Bakers Creek area, Mackay Sugar carried out air quality testing in the area adjacent to its effluent ponds, at Bakers Creek. VRM conducted the air quality testing, with the results revealing the air quality was below regulatory limits."



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