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Affiliate profile: Wetland and Ecological Treatment Systems

Our Network in Action

​Affiliate profile: Wetland and Ecological Treatment Systems

Tom can often be found surfing at One Mile Beach and Jo can regularly be seen in Tomaree National Park. That is the beauty of owning a business that works nationally and internationally but is based in Port Stephens. Dr Tom Headley and Josephine O’Brien are the directors of a business called Wetland and Ecological Treatment Systems (WET Systems). They have been members of EcoNetwork since they relocated their business to Port Stephens in 2020. 

WET Systems specialises in managing wastewater. They do this in a way that is sustainable, efficient and ecologically friendly. Their work involves constructing wetlands to treat contaminated water. This includes sewage, greywater and stormwater from individual households up to cities and water leaching from landfill, industrial, mining and agricultural sites. WET Systems also finds ways to reuse treated effluent. They also have expertise in restoration of natural wetlands of which there are plenty scattered throughout our region. Their scientific and innovative methods are customised for different settings which means they have not only worked across Australia but also in developing countries where sustainable solutions are needed most. 

One of WET Systems’ most recent projects involves developing floating ecosystems on the Yarra River – Birrarung, in Melbourne. The City of Melbourne funded WET Systems and partners to build wetland habitats close to the banks of the river in three locations. Native vegetation growing on floating structures are revitalising the banks of the river. The floating wetlands provide an opportunity for wildlife to return to an urbanised environment. Tom said, ‘We were delighted to see that within days of installation, there were already signs of swans, ducks and the Rakali, a rarely-sighted native water-rat, relocating back to the area.’

Not only are Tom and Jo dedicated to their important and worthwhile business, but Jo is also the volunteer coordinator of the Friends of Tomaree National Park, Fishermans Bay Group. They are currently removing an array of invasive weeds such as bitou bush and planting natives to restore the local bushland. 

EcoNetwork is delighted to have WET Systems as a business member of the network. Having a business like this contributes expertise and skills that helps to diversify our membership base, and ensures best practice ways of working nationally and internationally can be applied on a local level. Keep up the great work WET Systems and we look forward to hearing more about future projects.

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Published: 3 Jul 2024