Chairman of Ben Lomond Water in Tasmania,  Miles Hampton, has announced plans for a $2.5 million sewerage effluent reuse scheme at Beaconsfield.


“One of the challenges facing Ben Lomond Water when we were formed was the poor performance of the region’s sewage treatment plants and Beaconsfield is our region’s second worst,” Mr Hampton said.


“It’ll take us at least ten years and $250 million to get all our treatment plants to the point where they meet their environmental licence conditions, but today is a major step in that journey.


“Ben Lomond Water has purchased 39 hectares of land and we will shortly begin planting trees as part of an environmentally and economically sustainable 100% beneficial effluent reuse scheme.


The effluent reuse scheme aims to eliminate discharge of treated effluent to Brandy Creek, a minor creek draining to the Tamar River, in all but the wettest years.


The recycling scheme involves the establishment of a drip-irrigated tree plantation suitable for harvest by coppicing (as opposed to clear-felling and replanting) and construction of an effluent winter storage dam.


“Ben Lomond Water is close to securing the purchase of an adjoining 11 hectares of Crown Land as part of the scheme. Included in that parcel of land is 1.5 hectares of E ovata which is affected by invasive weeds including gorse.


“We are committed to the gradual improvement of this area and preservation of the forest,” Mr Hampton said.


This project has been supported by the Environment Protection Authority and Ben Lomond Water has a Planning Permit, an approved Forest Practices Plan, an approved Development Proposal and Environmental Management Plan (DPEMP) and an approved dam permit.


“We expect to begin construction of a 96 mega litre storage dam within weeks and anticipate planting trees by September.


“Considerable work has been undertaken to explore solutions to the poor operational performance of the sewerage treatment plant and the chosen reuse option is the most cost effective and environmentally sustainable option,” Mr Hampton said.