State of the Environment Report title
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2004 Report



Palerang

Discharges to Waters

Indicator description

Results for this indicator are also available for  

What the results tell us for Palerang

Effluent generated in Palerang Council's residential areas is treated at three sewage treatment plants in the towns of Braidwood, Bungendore and Captains Flat. Treated sewage is discharged to waterways adjacent to the townships (see Table 1). The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) licenses the discharges under the NSW Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

Effluent other than in the townships is treated in on-site systems. Septic tanks are used in rural areas across the council area, and other systems, including composting toilets and aerobic septic systems are also in use.

During the reporting period, there was one accidental discharge of 2000 litres of raw sewage from the Braidwood sewage treatment plant into Flood Creek. The Braidwood treatment plant has been subject to a long-standing requirement from the EPA to implement an effluent reuse proposal. Palerang Council inherited the plant from the former Tallaganda Shire Council. Subsequent to the end of the reporting period Council decided that the total replacement of the treatment plant, sewage pump station and some parts of the reticulation system was necessary. This work will commence in the 2005–06 financial year.

Discharges of phosphorus and nitrogen to water from diffuse sources for Palerang Council Area are reported in the National Pollutant Inventory each year. The major sources of nitrogen were conservation/bushland and agriculture/improved grazing. For phosphorus the major sources were agriculture/improved grazing and cropping. Comprehensive details for Palerang Council Area can be viewed at the National Pollutant website http://www.npi.gov.au.

Table 1. Discharges to waters, Palerang Council Area, 2000–01 to 2003–04
Licensed/
unlicensed
Volume (megalitres /year)Type Estimated volume discharged illegally (litres/year)Estimated volume discharged accidentally (litres/year)Receiving watersMass load of nitrogen (kg)Mass load of phosphorus (kg)
2000–01
Bungendore (licensed)166.8Treated sewageNilNilMillpost Creek233.5266.9
Captains Flat (licensed)45.2Treated sewageNilNilMolonglo River235221.5
Braidwood (licensed)76.8Treated sewageUnknownUnknownFlood Creek5731020.5
2001–02
Bungendore (licensed)162.7Treated sewageNilNilMillpost Creek227.8260.3
Captains Flat (licensed)42.4Treated sewageNilNilMolonglo River220.5207.8
Braidwood (licensed)78.5Treated sewageUnknownUnknownFlood Creek5731020.5
2002–03
Bungendore (licensed)154.4Treated sewageNilNilMillpost Creek216247
Captains Flat (licensed)36.1Treated sewageNilNilMolonglo River187.7176.9
Braidwood (licensed)76.4Treated sewageUnknownUnknownFlood Creek557.7993.2
2003–04
Bungendore STP (licensed)150.4Treated sewageNilNilMillpost Creek391173
Captains Flat (licensed)36.8Treated sewageNilNilMolonglo River326180.3
Braidwood (licensed)80.1Treated sewageUnknownUnknownFlood Creek584.71041.3
Braidwood (spill)-Raw sewageUnknown2000Flood Creek0.020.024

Source: Palerang Council

About the data

Information provided by Palerang Council. Additional information was obtained from the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation's Environment Protection Authority public register of protection licences and from the Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage.

One megalitre = one million litres.

References

Environment Protection Authority (2005) Protection of the Environment Operations Act, Public Register, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, viewed 14 June 2005, http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/prpoeo/searchregister.aspx.

Department of Environment and Heritage (2005) National Pollutant Inventory, Commonwealth of Australia, viewed 15 June 2005, http://www.npi.gov.au.