State of the Environment Report title
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2004 Report


Discharges to Waters

Indicator description

Results for this indicator are also available for  

What the results tell us for Tumbarumba

Effluent generated in Tumbarumba township is treated at the Tumbarumba sewage treatment plant and discharged to Tumbarumba Creek. The town of Khancoban discharges effluent to an evaporation area after treatment at the Khancoban sewage treatment plant. The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) licenses the discharges, under the NSW Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

Effluent other than in Tumbarumba and Khancoban townships is treated in on-site systems. Septic tanks are used in rural areas across the shire. In these areas, other systems, including composting toilets and aerobic septic systems, are also starting to be installed.

The volumes of discharge from the Tumbarumba sewage treatment plant to Tumbarumba Creek are shown in Table 1; no data were available for 2000–01. The decrease in volume discharged in 2002–03 was due to the drought situation. Council notes that there are some fairly significant problems with infiltration into the mains during wet weather events.

Table 1. Licenced discharges to waters*, Tumbarumba treatment plan, 2001–02 to 2003–04
Volume (megalitres per year)204.68177.95204.15
Type (sewage, stormwater etc)SewageSewageSewage
Mass load of nitrogen (kg)3120unknownunknown
Mass load of phosphorus (kg)970unknownunknown

* Volumes discharged illegally or accidentally are not known; Data source: Tumbarumba Shire Council

Discharges of nitrogen and phosphorus to water from diffuse sources in Tumbarumba Shire are reported each year on the National Pollutant Inventory website. The major diffuse sources of these substances in the shire were cropping, and unimproved and improved pasture. For comprehensive details reported in Tumbarumba Shire see the National Pollutant website.

About the data

Information was provided by Tumbarumba 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's Department of Environment and Heritage.


Environment Protection Authority (2005) Protection of the Environment Operations Act, Public Register, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, viewed 16 June 2005,

Department of Environment and Heritage (2005) National Pollutant Inventory, Commonwealth of Australia, viewed 16 June 2005,