Yarra Valley Water will soon begin work on finding a suitable location in the Doncaster Hill area for the construction of a treatment plant which will produce recycled water.

To support finding a site, Yarra Valley Water has established an independent expert panel to guide public engagement on this issue in September 2017.

The public engagement will involve proposing several possible treatment plant sites, each with their own specific attributes, for people to consider and provide their views about the most suitable location.

The treatment plant site will consist of a building that will contain pumps to take sewage from the sewer, and tanks to hold and treat it. There will also be other pumps at the site that will pump the treated water to households.

Outside the building, there will a tank to store the treated water prior to its delivery via an underground pipe to the properties at Doncaster Hill. Smaller tanks would store the chemicals required to treat the sewage and clean equipment.

The treatment plant will also need a vertical pipe (known as a vent stack) with an odour treatment system inside it to filter out and clean any gases from the treatment process before they are released into the air. These types of vent stacks are usually approximately 15m high.

Managing Director of Yarra Valley Water, Pat McCafferty, said as part of planning for a future with more people and less reliable water supply from traditional sources, recycled water is a key element of  long-term water planning.

“This project is considered nationally significant as it is the first time recycled water provision has been considered for infill development on such a large scale. In collaboration with the City of Manningham, we identified the opportunity to provide recycled water to more than 5,000 properties in the Doncaster Hill precinct, including the nearby Tullamore development (formerly the Eastern Golf Course).

“This means that new properties within this area will be provided with a ‘third pipe’, supplying recycled water for flushing toilets, washing clothes, watering gardens and car washing, saving our drinking water supplies.

“To produce the recycled water, we need to build a treatment plant somewhere nearby. We’ve identified several possible locations close to Doncaster Hill, and have been doing some work to understand the likely costs and suitability for each of them,” Mr McCafferty said.

Yarra Valley Water has written to customers in the area inviting them to participate in helping to identify a site for the treatment plant. Members of the public will be given the opportunity to have their say during the engagement process between 11-29 September 2017.

During this time, panel members will be available to meet with people to hear their ideas and feedback; to provide an opportunity for collaboration and discussion. The panel will then provide a report to Yarra Valley Water about what they have heard, and taking all things into account, make a recommendation about the most suitable site for a treatment plant.

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