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Short-term sewer solution to tackle Wangaratta’s development growth

9 March 2022

North East Water has identified a solution to increase capacity of its aging sewer network in the short-term to help support projected development growth in Wangaratta.

Connection approvals to the sewer network were temporarily paused for new developments in selected growth areas of the city last year, and an engineering firm was engaged to investigate solutions to system capacity issues.

Rebecca Jhonston, Executive Planning & Infrastructure, said while long-term growth master planning remains a priority for North East Water, a short-term option would allow connections to recommence within one to three years.

“The short-term option would involve a number of small-scale storage tanks installed safely below ground in selected new development areas,” Ms Jhonston said. “Waste could then be gradually released into the existing sewer network as capacity allowed, for example during off peak times.

“Once the tanks are in place, it would enable some new development in the short-term taking pressure off the current sewer system.

“North East Water will be undertaking further detailed engineering and feasibility assessments and costings to progress the option, including further engagement with developers about their contribution to the new infrastructure.”

Ms Jhonston said, “We will also be working collaboratively with the Rural City of Wangaratta to determine the next steps of implementing this concept into development planning.”

“Developers are encouraged to continue to engage with us early to discuss options for their development.”

Ms Jhonston added, “Wangaratta’s sewer system dates back to the 1930s and we acknowledge that it is facing many challenges.”

“Further investment is needed to address not only ageing infrastructure, but also climate change, population growth, changing demographics and the community’s expectations around sustainability.

“Our team continues to work on longer-term master planning for Wangaratta, with further solutions to the city’s capacity issues to be implemented over the next five to ten years.”