Waste water use in the pipeline

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Shire of Plantagenet Administration Building.
Camera IconShire of Plantagenet Administration Building. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

The Shire of Plantagenet is planning to use effluent on its parks and ovals with run-off “severely depleted” ahead of summer.

After a dry winter, councillors last month voted to ask the Water Corporation for an annual allocation of treated effluent.

The council requested 15,000 litres per year, plus more if needed, provided the water could be used in line with environmental and public health standards.

Shire works and services manager David Lynch said the Shire had planned to use effluent for many years but had only recently been able to gain access.

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“Our total water use went up with the development of Sounness Park and at that time we negotiated with Water Corporation the use of non-potable water from the Bolganup Dam,” he said. “That water kept us going but was comparatively expensive, so when the possibility of waste water came up, it was a good opportunity for us.

“This resource is too good to waste.”

Mr Lynch said it would be a permanent part of the ongoing effort to drought-proof Mt Barker’s recreation facilities.

“Our biggest issues revolve around identifying and minimising public health risks,” he said.

“Recycled water is used by many other local governments for irrigation without causing issues.

“The recycled water is chlori-nated by Water Corporation before it is pumped out of their faci-lity and must be used within 24 hours.

“Irrigation will only occur at night when there are no users and finished with at least three hours before the first potential user would be reasonably expected.”

Sounness Park has previously been watered from the Mitchell Street standpipe, but Mr Lynch noted in his report to the council it was an expensive option and would not be available after this financial year.

This month, the council authorised the use of $20,000 as a contingency fund for the infrastructure to enable the use of effluent.

Discussions with the Water Corporation are ongoing.

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