The Merimbula Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) is one of 10 that Bega Valley Shire Council owns and operates to provide safe and sustainable sewerage services to the community.
Council currently reuses about a quarter of the recycled water for irrigation at Pambula Merimbula Golf Club and Oaklands Farm. We’ve been distributing recycled water to the Pambula Merimbula Golf Club for over 40 years and irrigation to Oaklands began in 2013. The amount of reuse varies according to rainfall and in those years of high rainfall, these sites need less irrigation.
As much as we’d like to be able to, it is just not possible to reuse all of the treated wastewater because of our climate, existing land use and topography.
Council discharges excess treated wastewater through a beach-face outfall pipe on Merimbula Beach or into an area of the dunes. The area we use is significant to our Aboriginal community and is also endangered Bangalay Sand Forest; a community of over 50 endemic species including Eucalypt, Banksia, Dianella and Dichondra, among others.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has instructed Council to upgrade the STP and construct an ocean outfall to dispose of excess treated wastewater during high rainfall periods. Upgrades to the plant will also improve the quality of its treated wastewater. The Merimbula Sewage Treatment Plant and Ocean Outfall Project, which has been thoroughly investigated over the past 10 years, aims to protect the area’s unspoilt aquatic and land environment and ensure public health standards are met.
In December 2017 the Community Working Group (CWG) started working with AECOM (specialist environmental consultants) to consider how the STP will be upgraded and the most appropriate alignment for the ocean outfall.