$1.6 million lagoon upgrade for Strathalbyn's Wastewater Treatment Plant

Construction was recently finalised on the $1.6 million upgrade to the Strathalbyn Wastewater Treatment Plant, providing for anticipated growth within the Strathalbyn township.

Work began on the new 110 ML storage lagoon in October 2018 which is now set to provide additional storage for the current and anticipated medium term growth within Strathalbyn.

Strathalbyn is currently serviced by a Community Wastewater Management System (CWMS) owned and operated by Alexandrina Council, which involves wastewater collection, treatment and reuse/disposal.

The scheme is primarily a Septic Tank Effluent Disposal Scheme (STEDS), with most connections having a septic tank for primary treatment. The township also has a number of full sewer connections. 

Effluent generated within the township gravitates through a network of gravity drains into pump stations within the township, and is pumped through a network of rising mains to the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) near the intersection of Michelmore Road and Greenway Road.

The WWTP plant currently operates at 500 – 700 kL/day, and has a capacity of 1,500 kL/day. Based on observations and a water balance assessment, the existing 120 ML polyethylene-lined storage lagoon at the plant was found to have inadequate capacity to balance the scheme’s annual water storage variation.

The new lagoon will now provide additional storage, ensuring the plant remains adequate for predicted growth in the area.

Alexandrina's Community Wastewater Management Systems are collectively one of the largest water retail businesses in South Australia and are operated as a financially independent business unit. 

It is regulated by the Essential Services Commission of South Australia to ensure it is cost recoverable and financially sustainable over the long-term and a Council spokesperson said the "CWMS business unit is essentially a not-for-profit utility."

"User’s contribute to the service via a one-off Connection Fee and an annual service charge. This is not attributed to all ‘ratepayers’ only customers of the utility," said the spokesperson. 

"The Strathalbyn Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade works have been budgeted in the utilities Long-Term Financial Plan (LTFP) so there will be no change to customer fees resulting from this project."