Berri Barmera wastewater reuse project under way

Article image - Berri Barmera wastewater reuse project under way

Centrally located in South Australia’s Riverland, Berri Barmera Council is in the process of constructing two new lagoon based wastewater treatment plants as part of the Berri Barmera Wastewater Reuse Project. The $14 million project is being developed in partnership between Council, the Hardy Wine Company and United Utilities Australia (UUA). It is being delivered as a 25 year Build Own Operate project by UUA. The partnership will result in the treatment of effluent from Council’s septic tank effluent disposal networks (STEDS) together with winery wastewater from Hardy Wine Company.

Approximately 600 megalitres of wastewater from Council STEDs schemes will be treated to Class B+ quality every year at both treatment plants. It will be reused for irrigation at Berri and Barmera Golf Courses, the Riverland Field Days site and at Allan Glassey Park. Winery wastewater will be reused to irrigate economically viable crops on or near Council’s wastewater treatment plant at Barmera. The ultimate objective of the scheme is 100 per cent reuse of treated effluent.

Berri Barmera CEO, Stephen Rufus, said the project symbolises the commencement of a dream that was born from necessity to solve a number of issues and problems that Council was experiencing with its effluent drainage systems.

“That dream formed a project concept and now is reality,” he said. “It is more than just taking wastewater and recycling it for reuse on parks and gardens, sporting fields and golf courses. It is a project that will provide significant environmental benefit to the valuable River Murray, which provides the foundation for the economy of our wonderful region. It is also a project that will provide essential infrastructure for continued growth in both residential and industrial development, not just for the benefit of the Berri Barmera Council area but for the benefit of the Riverland as a whole and the State of South Australia.”

Stephen Rufus said the project is of significant value for Council.

“The economic benefit and spinoff that this project will provide to our region will exceed the $14 million project value many times over in the future,” he said. “By providing a longterm effluent treatment and reuse path for new industrial developments, we can offer an affordable place for business to locate in this region. In approximately nine months time we will be celebrating the commissioning of this wonderful project and starting to realise the benefits that this project will have for our community and region.”

For further information contact Michael Stephenson, Council’s Environmental Health Officer, on (08) 8582 1922.