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Tap into expert on wastewater


Brigid Veale
29 April 2005
An international expert on the use of ecologically sustainable sewerage systems will present a seminar at Southern Cross University's Lismore campus on Friday, May 6.

Professor Dr Ralf Otterpohl, the director of the Institute of Municipal and Industrial Wastewater Management at Hamburg University of Technology in Germany, is coming to Australia for the Ozwater 05 Conference in Brisbane, where he will give the keynote address.

He will also present a seminar, Wastewater Systems for Resource Recovery, from 9am to 2pm on May 6 at the Invercauld Conference Centre, Lismore. The seminar is being hosted by Southern Cross University and the Lismore City Council.

Dr Leigh Davison from Southern Cross University's Centre for Ecotechnology, said Professor Otterpohl was the leader of one of the world's largest and most active ecological sanitation research teams and is also co-owner of an engineering consultancy with a major ecological sanitation focus.

His team has developed high and low technology approaches to resource conservation and recovery for developed and developing nations.

"Water shortages in most of Australia's major cities and rising petrol prices are just two symptoms of a looming resource crunch for human society," Dr Davison said.

"The natural knee-jerk response to the situation is to build more dams and to chase the dwindling reserves of fossil fuels. Perhaps a more considered approach would be to explore ways to conserve and recover resources."

Dr Davison said current approaches to sanitation used potable water as a transport medium to remove sewage, but it was time to look at alternative methods which conserved water and harnessed useful components of the waste stream.

Professor Otterpohl chairs the International Water Association specialist group on Ecological Sanitation.

For registration information contact Jessica Huxley at the Centre for Ecotechnology on 66203505 or email or Robyn Fitzroy at Lismore City Council on 66250533 or email