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Mount Gambier Aquatic Centre’s new biomass boiler helps the environment

Mount Gambier Aquatic Centre’s new biomass boiler helps the environment
August 15, 2013

The installation of a new biomass boiler at the Mount Gambier Aquatic Centre will see forest industry residue produce power for the Centre, reducing its reliance on fossil fuels.

The new boiler replaces one which has heated the pools for the past 25 years and it is believed that the Mount Gambier facility will be the first public aquatic facility in Australia to use the approach.

Mount Gambier City Council's Environmental Sustainability Officer Aaron Izzard says that the new bolier is environmentally friendly and sustainable, stating "it can run on any kind of biomass woody material, so woodchip or sawdust."

The use of biomass in heating systems is beneficial because it uses agricultural, forest, urban and industrial residues and waste to produce heat and electricity with less effect on the environment than fossil fuels.

In practice, Izzard told the ABC "we've been buying (biomass) from a local mill, our sawdust supply, so that supports the local economy, the local forestry industry and it's also carbon neutral because the trees that the sawdust are from are regrown, so essentially that's a carbon neutral process.

"It is the only public pool in Australia that uses biomass to heat the water, most of the other ones are natural gas ... but in our situation being in a real forestry hub it really makes sense to run it on biomass and it's good for the environment and good for the local economy."

It is expected the boiler will be fully operational for the upcoming swimming season.

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