The population of Port Macquarie has grown rapidly in the last 30 years, increasing by over 1000 residents every year. To accommodate future growth, Council has proposed various strategies. Council is aiming for a strong and developing local economy by supporting existing and preferred new business and employment opportunities. To support this, a new land release to the west of Port Macquarie has been developed.
The area will provide a variety of services including community centres, schools and recreation facilities. Basic to all this is the need for a wastewater treatment plant (WwTP).
A Land Use Study commissioned by Council in 2003 provided possibilities for the location, method of treatment and possible designs for the plant. Options for managing the resulting treated water were also suggested.
Part of this process involved as many interested individuals and groups as possible. Representatives from oyster growers, bird watchers, government agencies and other interested people in the community were involved in a working group during the development of an Options Study and Environment Impact Statement (EIS).
Location of the wastewater treatment plant
A concept report and EIS were completed in 2005 providing recommendations for the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant and associated infrastructure. This new plant will be constructed within a 416 hectare parcel of rural land owned by Council, located immediately northwest of Port Macquarie Airport, and locally referred to as the 'Thrumster' sand plain.
The wastewater treatment plant
Wastewater treatment plants are designed to treat a defined volume of sewage and in this case the plant would be designed for 240L of sewage/capita/day in dry weather (the current flow from residents to the existing sewerage treatment plant in Port Macquarie) and for an ultimate population of 30,000.
The plant would be built in three stages.
The proposed wastewater treatment plant will mean a new source of recycled water and innovative ways of using it. One possibility for the use of the treated water is to flood the area where acid sulphate soils are exposed thus remedying some of the existing associated problems. Impacts on existing wetlands and other options for reuse of the treated water, including a dual pipe system for the use of both recycled and drinking water, will also be investigated.
Proposed construction timeframe of the Thrumster Wastewater Treatment Plant is 2018-2019.
For the interim, the two sewage pumping stations located in the Thrumster area currently pump back to Port Macquarie for treatment at the Port Macquarie WwTP.
This page was last updated on: 18 June 2020