Wastewater treatment plant given sustainable options

The Tasmanian Government is initiating a project providing total reuse of wastewater effluent to communities across the state.

Re-using and recycling 100 per cent of wastewater, the Beaconsfield Waste Water Treatment Plant would establish a drip-irrigated tree plantation suitable for harvest by coppicing, instead of clear-felling and re-planting.

It would also involve the construction of an effluent winter storage dam.

Minister for Environment and Heritage, Brian Wightman said Ben Lomond Water has been working towards developing a full effluent re-use scheme at the Beaconsfield sewerage treatment plant as a sustainable alternative to the existing discharge.

“Beaconsfield is one of the highest priority sewerage treatment plants for upgrade within Ben Lomond Water’s region,” Mr Wightman said.

He said this re-use scheme is designed to provide a “better environmental outcome”.

These environmental benefits are meant to include water quality improvement in Brandy Creek; avoiding potential high costs associated with nutrient removal processes in wastewater treatment; and the sustainable re-use of nutrients contained in the effluent for plantation forestry.

Once established, the effluent re-use scheme aims to eliminate discharge of treated effluent to Brandy Creek, which drains to the Tamar River, Mr Wightman said.

According to the Tasmanian Government, staff from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assisted Ben Lomond Water during the scheme’s planning phase.

The EPA’s assistance included information on regulatory requirements and feedback on draft submission documentation.

Mr Wightman said the project may prove to be a pilot or demonstration project for other sewage treatment plants in this region and others in the state.

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