Pineapple Runoff – Woodchip Bioreactor

Detailed Design and Reporting


In order to intercept nitrates from fertilisers running off a pineapple farm into the ocean AWC designed an inline bioreactor within an existing drain.

Proposed Action

The bioreactor was located below the existing invert of the drain, so as not to interrupt it current function. Water with high levels of nitrates enters the bioreactor. The bioreactor is filled with wood-chip which reacts with the nitrogen causing nitrogen gas. This removes the nitrogen from the water in a process called de-nitrification.

This is a simple yet effective way to achieve de-nitrification, one which farmers can construct themselves. This project included sampling points throughout the system which allowed for monitoring of the success of this device.


  • Detailed design
  • Construction supervision
  • Performance monitoring and reporting

Partners & Stakeholders

  • Sunshine Coast University

Project Facts

Client: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries


  • Working within farm operations
  • Not interfering with drainage
  • Limited budget