Environmental Science Case Study: Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island Resort


Located on a beautiful tropical island in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park near Cairns, Queensland, Fitzroy Island Resort is a stunning and highly memorable place to relax and enjoy Australia’s natural beauty.  With such a pristine environment, it is necessary to dispose of any effluent produced in a manner that is sustainable and that will preserve this gorgeous island paradise for years to come.

What was required?

The new owners of Fitzroy Island Resort approached Simmonds & Bristow for help with the design and management of their effluent irrigation system. This was an exciting challenge for our environmental science team as the steeply sloped and heavily vegetated nature of the island made irrigation more difficult.

How Simmonds & Bristow were able to help?

The first thing that our environmental scientists did was to take a look at the current and potential effluent irrigation area to assess exactly what the island would need. This process included:

  • Soil characterisation
  • Groundwater quality assessment
  • Surface water quality assessment
  • Effluent quality assessment

From the information gained during this assessment and using MEDLI, we were able to:

  • Design an effluent irrigation method, including scheduling recommendations
  • Determine wet weather storage requirements
  • Design the irrigation system in way that does not lead to any contamination of the receiving environment (including surface and ground water resources)
  • Determine the nutrient uptake capacity of vegetation within the effluent irrigation area
  • Design the irrigation area incorporating adequate human health and environmental setback distances
  • Develop an on-going surface and groundwater monitoring program


The Simmonds & Bristow Difference:

At Simmonds & Bristow we believe that our integrated approach to water and wastewater management is a real advantage for our clients. Having a complete team of environmental scientists, engineers and trainers (S&B is a registered training organisation) on hand at all times allows us to offer comprehensive service to our clients.

In the case of Fitzroy Island Resort, other assistance we were able to provide included:

  • Negotiation with local and state government authorities
  • Assistance in amending Licence (Environmental Authority) conditions
  • Surface and ground water sampling methodology advice
  • The production of annual compliance reports
  • STP (Sewage Treatment Plant) operator training

How Simmonds & Bristow can help you:

Simmonds & Bristow scientists and engineers have a range of specialist skills that are able to assist you in the design, management and operation of your STP. Some ways that we may be able to assist you include:

  • STP and WTP operator training
  • Sampling training courses
  • Effluent irrigation assessments
  • Soil assessment for irrigation purposes
  • MEDLI modelling (V2 recently released)  Learn more about MEDLI here!
  • Compliance reporting
  • STP audits
  • Assistance for resorts looking to expand their capacity in future

Interested in learning more about Fitzroy Island Resort? Visit the resort’s website.