Toast to treated effluent on Coast
FRASER Coast waste water specialist Trevor Endres was yesterday drinking to the news Hervey Bay is set to lead Australia in consuming processed effluent.
Mr Endres toasted the news outlined in Saturday’s Chronicle by drinking a glass of the water produced from an effluent treatment system, which he plumbed into a Tinana yard almost two years ago.
“It’s great news for our region’s water future that Wide Bay Water is using a membrane bio reactor system to treat town sewerage.
“The local waste water plumbing trade has been using this same membrane system for a couple of years but the difference is even though the water our home treatment plant produces is good enough to drink, we’re not actually allowed to.”
Mr Endres has been installing Nova Clear domestic treatment plants in private homes across the region for two years.
“It’s better than tank water even without all the extra filtering and monitoring Wide Bay Water does and the system has enormous potential for water saving by using the recycled black water to flush toilets, which they’re now starting to do in Brisbane.”
The State Government recognises Nova’s effluent as advanced secondary quality – the highest classification for domestic systems – yet the government offers home owners no concession.
“I would be prepared to do and sign-off designs that allow treated effluent to be recycled for toilet flushing.
“There is provision in the legislation for councils to allow alternative designs. I believe we should be allowed to run the treated effluent back inside to flush toilets. Toilets are about one-third of our home water usage.
“Judge water by its quality, not its history.”
A local waste water specialist said that unless the government or the council changed the laws Mr Endres’ idea would not happen.
“Membrane systems produce effluent water quality equal to drinking water.”
Since the government outlawed septic systems, the Fraser Coast council requires anyone not connected to the sewerage system to install a home package plant of the sort Mr Endres designs.
General treatment plant costs, which include the basic plant, the plumbing and extras the council requires, range from about $10,000 to $18,000.