Stuarts Point Sewerage Scheme

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About the Scheme

Kempsey Shire Council will receive $6.63 million in funding to construct the Stuarts Point Sewerage Scheme under the NSW Government’s Regional Water and Waste Water Backlog Program.

Project update

Council is committed to delivering a modern wastewater management system to the communities of Stuarts Point, Grassy Head and Fishermans Reach.

Council and its consultants have been conducting a comprehensive options assessment which has required refining as details of technical, environmental and cultural constraints have been identified. This process is continuing with a focus on providing the most sustainable sewerage service to benefit and accommodate the needs of the whole community.

The preferred option identified to date is piping the sewage to the existing wastewater treatment plant at South West Rocks via one of two alternative routes: Shark Island or Rainbow Reach. This option is currently being reviewed together with the option of constructing a new wastewater treatment plant at Stuarts Point. All options will be assessed taking into account environmental, financial, operational, community and cultural issues.

Benefits of the project

The Scheme will have a positive environmental impact, eliminating odours and water quality issues associated with wet weather overflows due to the area’s shallow groundwater tables. It will be able to cope with the influx of visitors during the holiday season.

Many of the houses in the Stuarts Point/Grassy Head area are around 40 years old and their existing sewerage systems would not meet today’s requirements for treatment quality and treatment sizing. Construction of a sewerage scheme means these properties will avoid significant costs of bringing their individual systems up to compliant standards.

The sewerage scheme will cater for the visitor populations in the area’s caravan parks and to allow for additional property development.

It is anticipated that property values in the area will improve due to the sewerage scheme based on an increased land value, development potential and improved social benefits. The scheme is also anticipated to significantly improve capacity and operations for oyster growers in the area.

 Questions and answers

How much will residents pay?

It will be compulsory for all residential properties within the designated service area to connect to the system, but there will be no lump sum up-front charge. Phased payments have commenced and will move towards the equivalent annual sewer access fee paid by any other property connected to the sewerage scheme in Kempsey Shire, by the fifth year. If properties are connected to the Scheme within five years they will only be charged the annual sewer access fee.

Proposed phased charges
2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21
$16 $82 $560 $1050 Standard sewer access fee

Property owners will stop paying charges for onsite wastewater management fees before they are connected to the new sewerage system.

Council will keep the community informed as the project progresses

When will the system be operational?

Plans and assessments for this system have been underway for a number of years. With funding now in place, it is estimated that construction of the system will be completed by the middle of 2021. The timing of connection of properties to the new scheme will depend on the most suitable staging outcomes for construction of the scheme.  This will be determined once the final options assessment is complete.

What does a pressure sewer pump look like and where will the pressure sewer pump be located?

Each property will have a small collection well with a pump installed in the most appropriate location taking into account each property’s individual circumstances including the internal drainage layout. The pump well is approximately half a metre in diameter and has a fixed cover that is at ground level. They will most likely be located close to the existing building, between it and the septic tank with a preference where possible to being located in the front yard for ease of access.¬†