The Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council and Icon Water have announced a partnership with the goal of exploring options for sewage treatment in the region.
Currently this centres on a proposed new sewage treatment plant located in Queanbeyan which would replace the current facility.
Plans to upgrade the Queanbeyan Sewage Treatment Plant have been in the pipeline for several years, with planning costs budgeted in the 2016/17 Operational Plan.
Speaking in May last year, Mayor Tim Overall, then administrator, said the council planned to have the new facility built and operational in five years. At that stage the costs of planning had been budgeted for $6.5 million.
The earlier proposal was to replace Queanbeyan’s current facility, which can service about 40,000 people and has reached capacity, with a 60,000-person facility.
The proposed facility would have capacity to service 90,000 people and would treat sewage from both Queanbeyan and parts of the ACT.
The larger facility is estimated to cost more than $100 million once completed and would be financed by both QPRC and Icon Water.
The next phase of the proposal is to have concept designs drawn up. QPRC will fund their portion of this stage from the water and sewer reserves.
Icon Water currently provide water to Queanbeyan which the council then distribute and price accordingly. Icon does not currently collect or treat any sewage in Queanbeyan.
Cr Overall said the relationship with Icon Water could be beneficial for the region.
“It is important that we investigate long-term options that will ensure the needs of Queanbeyan and the nearby ACT region are met” he said.
The former Queanbeyan City Council was forced to pay $400,000 in fines and legal costs in 2012 when more than 1 million litres of sewage flowed into Lake Burley Griffin after heavy rain.
The relationship at this stage is to undertake planning works for the new facility. Moving forward to construction would require another Memorandum of Understanding to be signed.