Discharges to Waters
What the results tell us for Snowy River
Effluent generated in the townships of Jindabyne, Berridale and Adaminaby is treated at sewage treatment plants in those townships. The plants are licensed by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to discharge into three creeks within the shire—Cobbin Creek (Jindabyne), Myack Creek (Berridale) and Locker Creek (Adaminaby).
Effluent generated in Kalkite is treated at a small plant that is not currently licensed by the EPA to discharge to waters, as it does not generate enough effluent to have a discharge. Transpiration from the settling pond effectively disposes of the liquid.
A number of privately owned sewage treatment plants are also located in Snowy River Shire, notably at resorts in the snowfields within Kosciuszko National Park. These plants are also operating under licences issued by the EPA.
Effluent other than in the townships and resorts is treated in on-site systems. Septic tanks are used in rural areas across the Shire, and other systems, including wet composting toilets and pumpout systems, are approved for use.
Total licensed discharges to waters from the shire's treatment plants at Jindabyne, Berridale and Adaminaby (including nitrogen and phosphorus loads) are reported as aggregate figures in Table 1. Mass loads of nitrogen were notably high in two of the four years reported here. Phosphorus loads decreased from a high of 1145 kilograms in 1999–2000, the last year of the previous reporting period, to a low of 610 kilograms in 2002–03 during the current period. Figures for 2003–04 were not available at the time of writing.
Stormwater flows directly into streams and lakes in the shire. There is a sediment trap at the Rainbow Beach subdivision at Tyrolean Village to filter storm water before it enters Lake Jindabyne. Stormwater volumes are not monitored by council.
In August 2001 the sewage treatment plant at Charlotte Pass was reported to be malfunctioning, possibly due to poisoning of the plant from water discharged from a spa.
Discharges of phosphorus and nitrogen to water from diffuse sources for Snowy River Shire are reported in the National Pollutant Inventory each year. The major sources of these substances were cropping and unimproved pasture. Comprehensive details for Snowy River Shire can be viewed at the National Pollutant website.
|Period||Volume (ML/y)||Type of discharge||Estimated volume discharged (L/y)||Receiving waters||Mass loads (kg)|
About the data
Information was provided by Snowy River Shire 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 Commonwealth Department of Environment and Heritage.
One megalitre = one million litres
Environment Protection Authority (2005) Protection of the Environment Operations Act, Public Register, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, viewed 27 July 2005, http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/prpoeo/searchregister.aspx.
Department of Environment and Heritage (2005) National Pollutant Inventory, Commonwealth of Australia, viewed 27 July 2005, http://www.npi.gov.au.