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Sustainable options for Beaconsfield Wastewater Treatment plant

Communities across Tasmania may reap the benefits of a project designed to provide 100 percent reuse of wastewater treatment plant effluent.

The Beaconsfield Waste Water Treatment Plant re-use scheme may prove to be a pilot or demonstration project for other sewage treatment plants in the State.

Ben Lomond Water has been working towards developing a full effluent reuse scheme at the Beaconsfield sewerage treatment plant as a sustainable alternative to the existing discharge.

Beaconsfield is one of the highest priority sewage treatment plants for upgrade within Ben Lomond Water’s region. This reuse scheme is designed to provide a better environmental outcome.

Once established, the effluent reuse scheme aims to eliminate discharge of treated effluent to Brandy Creek, a minor creek draining to the Tamar River, in all but the wettest years.

The recycling scheme involves the establishment of a drip-irrigated tree plantation suitable for harvest by coppicing (as opposed to clear-felling and replanting) and construction of an effluent winter storage dam.

Environmental benefits of the scheme include an expected improvement in water quality in Brandy Creek, avoidance of the potentially high costs associated with nutrient removal processes in wastewater treatment and the sustainable re-use of nutrients contained in the effluent for plantation forestry.

Staff from the EPA assisted Ben Lomond Water during the planning phase of the scheme with information on regulatory requirements and feedback on draft submission documentation.