EPA considers proposal for a Class A Recycled Water Treatment Plant at Blackmans Bay

​​The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by South Arm Pipeline Pty Ltd for a Class A Recycled Water Treatment Plant at Blackmans Bay in the Kingborough municipality. The proposal was referred to the Board in June 2023.

The proposal involves constructing and operating a Wastewater Treatment Plant that will apply a third stage of treatment to effluent from the adjacent TasWater Blackmans Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant to produce Class A irrigation water.

The Class A Recycled Water will be piped via the South Arm Pipeline to the South Arm Reuse Scheme that currently comprises the Arm End Golf Course and Gellibrand Point Nature Recreation Area.

The pipeline and operation of the Reuse Scheme do not form part of this proposal.

The Chair of the EPA Board, Andrew Paul, said that the Board concluded that the proposed development can be managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions. The Board requires these conditions to be included in any permit subsequently granted by the Kingborough Council.

“Various environmental issues were considered in the assessment, particularly management of wastewater" Andrew Paul said.

“The proposed Recycled Water Treatment Pant (RWTP) is designed to treat wastewater from Taswater's Blackmans Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant, to produce Class A Recycled Water for supply to the South Arm Reuse Scheme via the already constructed South Arm Pipeline.

The RWTP includes an automated treatment system with various management controls and monitoring in place to ensure the recycled water meets the relevant effluent quality limits imposed by the permit conditions. The effluent quality limits imposed allow for unrestricted access to the Gellibrand Point Nature Recreation Area when irrigation occurs.

The permit requires several plans to be in place to set out operational procedures, maintenance requirements and monitoring of effluent quality supplied to the reuse scheme. In addition, the reuse scheme customer(s) must have in place a Wastewater Reuse Environmental Management Plan approved by the Wastewater Reuse Coordination Group before using the recycled water, which considers the potential site-specific environmental impacts of each irrigation application" Andrew Paul said.

Public consultation was open for 28 days from 18 November 2023. Nineteen representations were received in relation to the proposal. The representations raised issues relating to noise impact from the RWTP and impacts on fauna local to the RWTP, which are considered in the assessment. Representors raised other issues outside of the Board's scope for this assessment including visual impacts on nearby residents, restrictions of access to the Gellibrand Point Nature Recreation Area, and environmental impacts from irrigation at South Arm.

The proposal was considered by the Board in the context of the sustainable development objectives of the Resource Management and Planning System of Tasmania (RMPS), and in the context of the objectives of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control System (EMPCS) established by the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA).

The functions of the Board are to administer and enforce the provisions of EMPCA, to further the RMPS and EMPCS objectives and, in particular, to use its best endeavours to protect the environment of Tasmania.

The Board undertook assessment of the proposal in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Principles defined in Section 74 of the Act.

The environmental assessment report, including the environmental conditions, has been issued to South Arm Pipeline Pty Ltd and Kingborough Council.

This decision and all assessment documents can be viewed at South Arm Pipeline, Class A Water Treatment Plant, Blackmans Bay​.

Published on: 20/02/2024