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Wastewater Treatment and Recycling in Urban Villages: Implementation and Policy Issues for Western Australia

Strang, B., Anda, M., Baudains, C. and Ho, G. (2007) Wastewater Treatment and Recycling in Urban Villages: Implementation and Policy Issues for Western Australia. In: NOWRA 16th Annual Technical Education Conference & Exposition, 12 - 14 March, Baltimore, Maryland, USA



With a drying climate and increasing urban populations many cities in Australia are facing drinking water shortages. In Perth, tile capital of Western Australia (WA), summer water restrictions are common and in the face of declining rainfall the State Government is developing new water strategies.

0ne strategy involves a closer alignment and integration of land use planning with water management. This will require residential land developers to look at tile total water cycle and how it fits into local aind regioinal water plans. Another strategy, currently being trialled in WA and the focus of this research, involves the development of wastewater treatment and reuse systems for non-drinking water applications, such as irrigating public open space, in urban villages. By treating and reusing wastewater locally, developers can work with local and regional water planners to help reduce drinking water demand, whilst ensuring environmental flows are maintained.

In WA, two residential developments are installing decentralised wastewater, specifically greywater, treatment and recycling systems: Bridgewater Lifestyle Village (BWLV) in Erskine and Timbers Edge Residential Resort (TimbersEdge) in Dawesville, refer figure 1. Both sites are located in high population growth corridors and environmentally sensitive areas that experience high water tables due to their proximity to the Peel Harvey Estuary. Both sites are currently under construction and represent two different greywater treatment systems mid constitute the first trials of decentralised wastewater treatment and recycling within the Perth metropolitan area. BWLV is in the process of installing 380 greywater systems with a central overriding management system, with the treated greywater being used to irrigate the individual residences. Whereas TimbersEdge will have 260 homes connected to one central greywater treatment system, with the treated greywater then used to irrigate public open space within the development.

This paper will discuss: the complexities of getting the systems approved, including the legislative and regulatory constraints: the maintenance and monitoring schedules required to meet the environmental and public health issues: discuss the community involvement required to ensure that the systems are accepted and that the residents feel empowered and confident with the systems: and briefly discuss how these issues have led to the development of a new management tool, known as the DeWaTARS framework. The development of the DeWaTARS framework will enable the development and application process of future applications within the Perth metropolitan region.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
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