The viability of sewage services to small communities and the urban fringe is a key challenge facing Australian utilities. Often existing municipal sewage infrastructure is too far away or at capacity. Additionally, the cost to provide a small standalone municipal-type Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) to service a small population is restrictive.

True Water specialises in designing and installing high-quality, small-scale treatment plants to service small communities, satellite communities, and the urban fringe (500-5,000 estimated population). True Water’s decentralised and semi-decentralised technologies provide utilities with a long-term infrastructure solution that is profitable, simple to manage and secures compliance.

“Currently, the management of sustainable infrastructure is one of the most pressing global issues as urban centres continue to expand. Ensuring basic human services, such as water supply and wastewater treatment, is one of many challenges faced by researchers and managers in the 21st century.” – Dr Stefan Holler, Water & Wastewater International

Development in coastal and regional areas throughout Australia has placed pressure on traditional sewage servicing methods with state and federal governments and utilities often seeking a change in approach to meet regional demand. The challenge arises when finding a solution for smaller regional communities or new developments on the urban fringe.

Septic and aerated systems are crude and the poor quality effluent they produce poses a high risk to public health and the environment. A large municipal plant is often the most effective and economical way to deal with wastewater in a large town or city.

Likewise, a simple septic or aerated system has been sufficient for managing wastewater in low-density rural settings. However, if you try to scale either method to a suitable size for a small community, you quickly run into problems.

Many existing regional STPs servicing small towns operate at a high cost per head of population and would not be viable without subsidisation.

A decentralised class a+ sewage treatment plant servicing a community of approximately 2,000.

The scale, complexity and maintenance requirements of municipal-scale STPs present critical challenges to smaller communities. These older models for sewage services are not cost-effective or sustainable for small to medium sized communities. Sustainable options must combine reliable technology with economic feasibility.

Thanks to recent technology developments, leading global manufacturers offer small- and medium-scale STP’s that address all economic and operational requirements. This has made the implementation of decentralised or semi-decentralised services a suitable solution.

Decentralisation and semi-decentralisation involves the collection and treatment of wastewater within small catchments. Where in the past cost per capita was too high, modern technology allows high-quality treatment without complex treatment plants.

The treatment processes involve very few moving parts and minimal chemical dosing, reducing the operational and management costs, and removing daily or weekly site management.

Key objectives include: economic viability, scalability to meet future need, proven technology and securing compliance. True Water specialises in sewage infrastructure design to service communities of approximately 500- 5,000 people.

This partner content is brought to you by True Water Australia. For more information, visit

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