A water utility in Victoria has installed a new solar-powered sewer system to provide environmentally friendly toilet facilities at Koonya Beach in the Mornington Peninsula National Park.

South East Water, in partnership with Parks Victoria, has upgraded the toilets to a system which runs on 100 per cent renewable energy.

This is a first for the national park which has several ageing septic systems exceeding capacity due to increasing visitor numbers.

With help of a $1.2million commitment from the State Government, South East Water is working towards connecting eight sites along the national park’s main sewer system, which will eliminate the risk of pollution and help maintain a clean and healthy national park.

South East Water will next install an additional solar powered connection at Portsea Ocean Beach, reducing the need to rely on electricity to power its sewer systems in the national park.

“The installation of solar powered pressure sewer systems on the Mornington Peninsula not only delivers environmental and cost benefits to Parks Victoria, but is also an important step forward in improving the liveability and sustainability of our communities,” South East Water’s Managing Director, Terri Benson, said.

The new system uses modern technology and has an increased capacity to deal with the growing number of visitors.

South East Water developed the OneBox technology behind the solar powered sewer system which is manufactured locally.

This technology allows South East Water to monitor the sewer system in real time and control system flows during peak periods.

The solar system and batteries are also a local product manufactured by Magefekt in Dandenong.

The off-grid solar system provides an opportunity to take this technology to remote areas of Victoria where limited or no electricity supply is available. 

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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