Implementing a reticulated sewerage system in a small town
Most towns in north-east Victoria are located in declared sewer districts. This means that residents are connected to reticulated sewerage systems managed by North East Water. Some smaller towns are not situated in a declared district and their wastewater treatment (like septic systems) is managed by local government.
North East Water is happy to work with councils in their engagement with communities who may be interested in implementing a reticulated sewage solution.
Outlined below is a typical process of sewering a town that is not currently connected to a reticulated sewer system. This process can typically take between four and seven years.
- Community members would ask Council to investigate the current wastewater disposal method for a town.
- Council would amend its Domestic Wastewater Management Plan to include investigations of sewering the town
- If an investigation finds the existing systems are performing poorly, and creating a high risk to the environment or preventing development, a study would be undertaken on the best type of system for the town.
- The study would often provide indicative costings for various options. The community would need to agree that all households within the town would each need to pay the applicable scheme costs.
- Council would inform North East Water if the results of the study showed that a reticulated sewer system is considered a viable option for the town.
- North East Water would undertake an investigation to develop costings for the installation of a system. The cost would be communicated to the community.
- Council would engage with the community, to seek agreement from each household to pay for the costs of installing the infrastructure. If the scheme proceeds, no resident within the town would be able to “opt out”, and each property would be required to connect.
- Council would inform North East Water that the town is to be sewered.
- Once funding has been agreed and paid to North East Water, land purchasing, easement creation would commence.
- System design and installation of infrastructure would occur.
- Once the system has been commissioned, all land owners within the newly serviced area would be required to connect.