The McGowan Government has partnered with an Augusta community group in an Australian‑first trial of new technology developed in Western Australia that aims to better manage dairy farm effluent to protect local waterways.
The six-month $180,000 trial of the Z-Filter separator is the first time the technology has been tested on dairy farms anywhere in Australia. The Z-Filter uses advanced filtration technology to capture solids while allowing water to pass through a filter element, making it usable in reticulation.
The trial is being led by Augusta Margaret River Clean Community Energy Incorporated (AMRCCE) and involves installing a Z-Filter at a dairy farm in the Scott River area, east of Augusta.
The trial will determine if dairy effluent can be efficiently and economically separated into liquid filtrate and stackable manure solids for potential reuse as fertiliser.
If viable, the innovative process could be used across Western Australian dairies, protecting our waterways, improving farm efficiencies, boosting local employment and reducing methane emissions from the agricultural sector.
The State Government is contributing $135,000 towards the trial and AMRCCE are providing $45,000.
As stated by Water Minister Dave Kelly:
“This trial is a great example of how Western Australian technology and innovations have the potential to improve effluent management in order to protect our beautiful waterways and make dairy farming more sustainable.
“As part of this trial, scientists will examine on-farm data to determine if manure separation can provide a real alternative in dairy effluent management.
“This could greatly reduce water use and greenhouse gas emissions produced by dairy farms, and help keep nutrients and organic materials out of our waterways, and is just one way the State Government is supporting sustainable agriculture in Western Australia.”
As stated by South West MLC Adele Farina:
“I commend the Augusta Margaret River Clean Community Energy Incorporated for their ongoing commitment and tireless efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
“The trial has the potential to create far-reaching environmental and economic benefits by reducing water usage and nutrient flows into our waterways and deliver sustainable agricultural outcomes.
“The partnership between the State Government and Augusta Margaret River Clean Community Energy Incorporated is a great example of how community groups, farmers and government can work together to protect local waterways and improve farm profitability and productivity.
“This project is just one example of how the McGowan Government is working with communities to tackle climate change at a grass-roots level.”