Albury has three wastewater systems:
- The urban area of Albury City
- Hume Weir Village and
- Lara Lakes at Table Top
Splitters Creek, the residences around the Hawkesview/Knoble Roads area of Wirlinga, the rural residences on the outskirts of the urban area and the farmland residences are not connected to any sewerage reticulation system. These have their own on-site treatment systems which are monitored by Council’s ‘Compliance Section’.
Albury City Urban system
The Albury City Urban system consists of:
- Two treatment plants (Waterview at Splitters Creek and Kremur Street in West Albury)
- Six major pumping stations
- More than 50 minor pumping stations
- Greater than 550km of sewer mains that vary in diameter from 150mm to 750mm.
Part of the reticulation system also includes 8,250 access manholes and 196 vent pipes.
Sewage generated from the various customers gravitates into the reticulation system and eventually flows to the pump stations which in-turn pump it to the treatment plants. Depending where you live, the sewage generated from your property may go through five pump stations before it reaches the treatment plants.
The two treatment plants treat on average 10.5 ML per day or the equivalent of four Olympic-sized swimming pools (a megalitre is one million litres).
As part of the operations of the wastewater system we dose an odour neutraliser at seven pump stations throughout the City to control odour. For emergency purposes, particularly electricity blackouts, we have diesel-powered back-up generators. Council also has two mobile pump stations that can be taken and used at any one of the minor pump stations should these stations have a blackout or there is a major pump malfunction.
Kremur Street Treatment Plant
The Kremur Street treatment plant was constructed in 1916 and has been upgraded or modified a number of times, the last being in the late-1980s. It is a Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) plant with a treatment capacity of 10 ML per day. Disinfection at this plant occurs via the two large maturation ponds which form part of Horseshoe Lagoon (in West Albury). The treated effluent is pumped to Waterview Treatment Plant where it mixes with the treated effluent from the Waterview Treatment Plant.
Waterview Treatment Plant
The Waterview Treatment Plant was constructed in 2000 and is also a BNR plant. It has a treatment capacity of 8 ML per day and incorporates tertiary treatment using sand filtration and disinfection.
Both treatment plants have chemical back-up (using Alum) for phosphorus removal. A by-product of the treatment process is biosolids (sludge).
An approval condition for the construction of the Waterview Treatment Plant was that no treated effluent was to discharge back into the Murray River. Therefore, all the treated effluent produced by both plants become part of a reclaimed water re-use system, and this is discharged to the Wonga Wetlands in the cooler months and timber plantations and irrigated pastures during the warmer months.
Hume Weir Village system
This system only services the Hume Weir Resort, the Hume Weir Caravan Park and the Hume Dam workshop and Eraring electricity power station. It was constructed in 1977 and has a capacity of 100 KL/day. It is an activated sludge plant utilising a Pasveer channel. Disinfection is achieved using maturation ponds and the treated effluent is discharged to the Murray River approximately 300 metres downstream of the Hume Dam wall.
The sludge produced as part of the treatment process is collected in a sludge lagoon which is allowed to dry out and the dried sludge is collected and disposed of.
Lara Lakes system
This system only services approximately 35 residences surrounding Lara Lakes in Table Top. It was constructed in 1989 and has a capacity of 100 KL/day. Its treatment process uses two facultative lagoons and the treated effluent is irrigated onto 1.5 hectares of adjacent woodlots.
Wastewater testing and certification
There is a combination of daily, weekly and monthly sampling/testing that occurs at the treatment plants. Some of the testing is for operational purposes and this is performed by the Treatment Plant Operators using various specialised analysers.
Regulatory control and performance reporting
Wastewater treatment standards are set by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). Three out of our four treatment plants are subject to EPA licence conditions (Lara Lakes being the exception). The licence conditions applying to the Waterview and Kremur Street plants are system-wide, load-based licences (i.e. they include the City reticulation system). Council reports annually on each of the licences and the performance results attract an administration charge and load charges.
Our wastewater system is also regulated by the water section of the NSW Department of Industries (DOI-Water). The operations of the wastewater system are reported annually, with around 430 responses being provided. DOI-Water collates all of these results and our wastewater system is then benchmarked against all of the other NSW Local Water Utilities who operate a wastewater treatment system.
On Site Sewage Management Systems
On-site sewage management system (OSMS) refer to wastewater systems situated within a property's boundary that treat the wastewater generated from the property and includes the land application area. These systems are required in areas that are not serviced by Council's sewerage infrastructure. OSMS may include septic tanks, aerated wastewater treatment systems (AWTS) and bio-filter systems.
An effective on-site treatment and land application should ensure the:
- Protection of public health and safety
- Improved catchment management
- Protection of surface and ground waters, the land and vegetation
In accordance with the Local Government Act Council maintains a register of On-site Sewage Management Systems installed within Albury City Council. Council's Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) perform regulatory functions which include the monitoring, and inspection of septic systems to ensure the system complies with relevant legislation and do not pose a risk to the health of the community.
Application to install
Approval from Council is required for the installation, construction or alteration of a human waste water treatment device or storage facility and the drains connected to it. If you are installing a new system or altering an existing system please complete the form below and obtain an Approval from Council prior to commencing works.
Environmental and public health risks
Poorly operated and maintained OSMS systems can pose a high level of risk to public health and has the potential to cause extensive damage to the environment. However, owners of a well maintained and efficient system can benefit from a reduced health risk, a longer life span to the system and increased property values.
Types of on-site sewage management systems
Conventional septic systems
A conventional septic system in a residential situation, commonly consist of a single tank connected to a series of underground trenches. Conventional systems operate by allowing the influent (in-coming effluent) to settle over time; where the solid particles sink and the fats float to the top of the tank. This allows a layer of clearer liquid to form in between which flows on, to the disposal area.
On average a septic tank requires to be pumped out every five years, this varies due to the size, usage and health of the tank along with the type of chemicals that are used in the household. It is good practice to periodically monitor the level in your septic tank, check for any leaks or blockages from the tank and disposal area.
Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS)
Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems use mechanised aeration and disinfection processes that allow irrigation of effluent on a designated area as safe means of disposal.
The disposal area connected to an AWTS may consist of above ground sprinklers or a sub-surface dripper system. The wastewater can be used to irrigate lawns and shrubs but must not be applied to fruits and vegetables or come in contact with humans or pets. The disposal area must be signed posted appropriately and fenced or barricaded to exclude the entry of children, vehicles, pets and livestock.
Owners of an AWTS must enter into a service contract with a certified Service Agent to ensure the system is maintained appropriately. Owners must ensure Service Agents forward a copy of the service report to Council. These systems are connected to electricity to operate the pumps and alarm system, therefore it is important to check the system regularly and after a power failure.
Authorised AWTS Servicing Agents
A list of accredited servicing agents is available to download, Please contact agents directly to arrange all servicing arrangements.