WHILE over 18 months have passed since the public meeting held to discuss the wastewater management issues, the FCCDG has been working towards finding affordable options for town residential and commercial property owners.
RMIT University were contacted and willingly agreed to provide researchers to:
1. Investigate and document evidence of the source of the odour impacting Fish Creek community;
2. Conduct investigations and develop alternative solutions to improve the performance of individual on-site systems to improve the quality of water discharged to sewers and therefore reducing the odour and any health concerns
3. Collect data concerning waste water generated by the premises located on the main street and propose alternative suitable treatment(s) and winter storage facility.
South Gippsland Shire Council were contacted and provided $30,000 from the 2021-2022 budget to fund the RMIT study.
South Gippsland Water entered an agreement with the FCCDG to provide advice where required, in-kind assistance to the RMIT study and their commitment to supporting the Fish Creek community improve their town.
We are pleased to inform you, that a report has now been received from RMIT with three options for waste water treatment.
The options are:
1: Individual properties – enhancement of existing on-site system (septic tank) with additional secondary on-site system or replacement of the existing septic tank with new primary and secondary on-site systems.
2: Clustering of properties – grouping of adjacent properties and treating their domestic wastewater with new primary and secondary on-site systems, with options of either recycling the treated wastewater on-site or discharging it to storm sewer. If discharged into storm water sewers, the cumulative discharge is proposed to pass through a constructed wetland before reaching the Fish Creek.
3: Centralised system – wastewater treatment plant treating the wastewater generated by the entire town.
The centralised system is the most expensive at nearly $6 million, while the priority cluster option would have a total estimated cost of $2.03 million. The cluster option would also require land to construct wicking beds.
During the study, RMIT forged a partnership with Yarra Valley Water, who are willing to share their expertise. Yarra Valley Water have offered to lead the trialling of a system they have developed. It is proposed that this trial be undertaken on the site of the Long John Pickles cafe. This trial would validate the potential for using the cluster treatment option
A visit to the Yarra Valley to see the proposed trial system first hand is scheduled for early 2023. If all parties are happy to proceed with a trial, we will then need to determine how we will fund the trial.
Both RMIT and Yarra Valley Water are enthusiastic about being involved in finding a solution to our waste water problems and we look forward to forging strong partnerships with them, South Gippsland Shire Council and South Gippsland Water as Fish Creek leads the way for other communities who face similar problems.
If you would like a copy of the RMIT report, please contact FCCDG secretary – Marge Arnup 0427 881 440, [email protected]