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TasWater’s proposed Selfs Point Sewer Transformation Project is set to transform how the utility manages Hobart’s sewage, boosting potential for development in the region and improving the health of the River Derwent. 

TasWater General Manager Project Delivery, Tony Willmott, said that the project would be a step change for wastewater treatment in southern Tasmania and the biggest capital project ever undertaken by TasWater.

“This project will see nutrients into the Derwent from our operations halved, give developers confidence to build houses, and provide us the pathway to transform sewage treatment in Greater Hobart and the Eastern Shore over the next 20 years,” Mr Willmott said.

“We are partnering with the Tasmanian Government on the $314 million relocation from Macquarie Point, but at the same time TasWater will invest a further $66 million in the Selfs Point site to allow us to decommission other underperforming treatment plants in Greater Hobart.

“Understandably, the cost of this major project has risen in the eight years since the $140 million planning estimate from 2016.

“During that time, market conditions have tightened, the cost of materials has risen, and we have expanded the scope of the project to provide even greater benefits for Hobart and beyond.

“By retiring the underperforming Macquarie Point plant and directing flow to Selfs Point, we will remove 132t of nutrients from the Derwent each year.

“That is an immediate 50 per cent reduction in our impact on the waterway, improving the health of the river for the environment and for recreational users.

Mr Dermott said that the transformation project will immediately unlock network capacity for 8,000 new homes and has been designed to allow for easy expansion to service an additional 20,000 new homes in the future.

“The project will provide an estimated 3,420 direct and indirect jobs and once completed, provide an estimated $1.1 billion worth of activity in the state.

“The plant will also stimulate the circular economy with the potential to provide up to nine billion litres of recycled water for agricultural and city-scaping projects every year.

“We’ll also double the capacity of energy cogeneration to power the Selfs Point site – from 200kW to 400kW – or the equivalent of enough energy to power 300 homes.

“Looking across the next 20 years, we want to remove the ageing Cameron Bay, Prince of Wales Bay, and Risdon treatment plants from the network, delivering a more efficient plant solution and unlocking further waterfront development opportunities.”

The transformation project is three projects in one – upgrading the existing plant at Selfs Point to handle additional volume, removing the treatment plant and installing a pump station and emergency storage at Macquarie Point, and constructing a 7km transfer pipeline between the two.

Mr Willmott said there was a synergy between the Selfs Point Sewer Transformation Project and TasWater’s recently completed upgrade at the Bryn Estyn Water Treatment Plant.

“These two projects go hand-in-hand to deliver improved customer outcomes, future- proof Greater Hobart and unlock development potential,” Mr Willmott said.

“With the upgrade at Bryn Estyn, we secured Hobart’s water supply for the next 50 years – at Selfs Point we will deliver capacity increases to handle residential and commercial growth of the city over that same timeframe.”

Much like the Bryn Estyn upgrade, the Selfs Point project is expected to provide extensive local employment opportunities during construction and continue to provide economic benefits well into the future.

Image: Yevgen Belich/shutterstock.com

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