Woodford Folk Festivals

Woodfordia Installation

Woodfordia site

Woodfordia Inc operates the Woodfordia site, the home of the Woodford Folk Festival. The Woodford Folk Festival is largest gathering of artists and musicians in Australia and typically attracts over 130,000 visitors during the 6 days of the event. The festival started operating on the site in 1994 and for 15 years searched for an economic and environmentally friendly solution to its challenging wastewater treatment requirements. The main issue was to find an economic solution to manage its highly variable wastewater production volumes.

During festival events, wastewater production at the site can be as high as 2 million litres per day.

The Woodfordia site is host to other festivals, such as the ‘The Planting’, but there is typically 3 months between events. In between festivals at the site wastewater production is normally less than 2000 litres per day. But during festival events it can be as high as 2 million litres per day. The wastewater produced at the site also has variable quality and has a relatively high concentration of blackwater. The multiple treatment challenges presented by the Woodfordia site meant that they were transporting all of its wastewater off-site, which accounted for 11% of the total carbon emissions of the organisation and was a major operational cost.

Waste Stabilisation Pond at the end of the Festival

Arris Water was able to solve the wastewater treatment issues at the Woodfordia site with a bespoke decentralised wastewater treatment and water recycling scheme. We designed, built, operate and maintain a batching treatment plant that incorporates physical separation, chemical treatment (ion exchange, oxidation, and adsorption), and biological polishing. The treated water is then irrigated onto a bamboo plantation; with the bamboo poles and products being harvested and used on the site as part of the festival events.

The $1.5 million project was designed and constructed within six months, commencing in June 2009.

The plant was commissioned during the actual operation of the 2009/2010 Woodford Folk Festival. The completion of the STP enabled Woodfordia Inc to slash their cost of managing their wastewater by more than 80%, reduced the site’s carbon emissions. It also enabled a town planning change that allowed Woodfordia Inc to offer the site to third party clients for hire and use. As a result, the site was hired to Splendour in the Grass music festival for two years, and has an on-going relationship with Tough Mudder.

Wastewater Treatment chain

In 2018 we have upgraded the STP with the inclusion of a Primozone Ozone system. This ozone unit will decrease our usage of hydrogen peroxide in the oxidation stages of the treatment chain. Being able to generate ozone from atmospheric oxygen reduces chemical delivery truck movements to site and has a significant reduction in operational costs.

Arris has also upgraded the potable water treatment plant at the site and provides on-going technical support to his facility.

Arris and Woodfordia Inc both have a strong commitment to research projects. We have made the Woodfordia STP available for research projects to students from the Central Queensland University, University of Queensland, and the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Click here to read more about the Woodford Folk Festival Installation project.