Kim Hames

Kim Hames


    Minister announces $70 million plan to cut odours from wastewater plants

    14/10/2000 9:00 AM

    A major $70 million program to combat odours from wastewater treatment plants in Perth and large country centres was announced today (October 14) by Water Resources Minister Dr Kim Hames.

    Dr Hames said the wide-ranging work was part of a program of ongoing improvements to treatment plants throughout the State, with significant benefits for communities and the environment.

    The latest package of measures would see $30 million invested at Beenyup, $22 million at Subiaco, $11 million at Woodman Point and $7 million at major regional centres. The Beenyup expenditure was on top of the $9.2 million program announced recently.

    “Over the next three years we will be making big inroads into odour emissions and their effects on nearby residents, through a range of measures,” Dr Hames said.

    “These will include improved technologies and processes in the treatment plants, as well as the establishment of more secure buffer zones around them. Buffer zones will be made more secure by having them firmly embedded in town planning schemes.“

    Dr Hames said the odour problems had been caused partly by the enormous increase in wastewater volumes as Perth had grown, and the much greater distances that wastewater had to be transported.

    “The combination of the time spent in the sewer pipes and our high summer temperatures encourage the production of odours by the time the wastewater reaches a treatment plant,” he said.

    “Another big problem has been an urban creep around treatment plants. More and more homes have been built closer to the plants, and residents experience odours under certain conditions.

    “Buffers were established when the plants were constructed, especially in Perth, but housing developments have managed to encroach much closer to plants than was originally intended.

    “Under the new program, control facilities will be installed at Beenyup to ensure that odour levels will be significantly reduced in residential areas near the plant.

    “At the Subiaco plant, housing has developed to Underwood Avenue, effectively reducing the buffer zone there to 60m. The proposed control measures will restrict odours to within the buffer area.”

    Dr Hames said $11 million would be spent on odour control at the Woodman Point treatment plant, which took most of Perth’s wastewater south of the river.

    This was part of a three-year, $140 million upgrading project to increase the plant’s capacity to cope with increasing demand and enhance the quality of the treated wastewater through provision of secondary treatment.

    Regional treatment plants had fewer odour problems due to lower flows and generally compatible land uses within buffer zones. However, some zones were coming under increasing pressure from development.

    Plants at Mandurah, Albany and Esperance would be among those included in the program.

    Dr Hames said significant upgrading of wastewater collection, treatment and disposal systems throughout Western Australia was greatly benefiting communities and the environment.

    This included more than 50 schemes to reuse treated wastewater to irrigate tree farms and public amenities rather than discharging it to waterways and the ocean.

    Media contacts:
    Sandy Gater, Minister’s office, 9424 7455
    Phil Kneebone, Water Corporation, 9420 3386