Pressure mounts on Wannon Water to end ocean outfall

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Dirty effluent water off Thunder Point, from the Wannon Water treatment plant. Image: Goodwill Nurdle Hunting.

Carol Altmann – The Terrier

Big news is filtering out of the EPA today which could see Wannon Water forced to lift its game so these “dirty decants” into the ocean off Thunder Point are soon a thing of the past.

The push is to produce only what is called “Class A” water which is not piped into the ocean but – wait for it – reused and recycled.

The fabulous news is that the independent consultant hired by the EPA to look at the public response to the $40m WW plant upgrade agrees!


The consultant is recommending that the EPA requires Wannon Water to move to a Class A/tertiary system within five years.

Five years!

Sorry for the exclamation marks, but I am genuinely excited, because this is a major breakthrough in what has been a very long battle, by some very dedicated people, to bring our city into the 21st century.

If the W’bool City Council is serious about its 2040 Plan, then it needs to demand this requirement too.

I have learned that Class A water is good for just about everything other than a refreshing drink.

It is safe for human contact.

You can wash your clothes in it, water your vegies with it, irrigate your lawn with it….

How very modern and forward thinking, given we are the driest continent on the entire frying pan of the planet.

As it sits, Wannon Water plans to spend $40m expanding the treatment plant so that it can do more of the same for the next 20 years – ie. just keep pumping effluent into the ocean.

To go for Class A will cost another $30m to $40m, which for something which will set us up for the next 20 years, sounds like a good deal to me.

Wannon Water has already put the heebies into people by saying it would also cost an extra $2m to $3m each year to run and customer bills might rise.

When I see the sort of money swishing around the big dairy and meat companies that use our treatment plant, that sounds like small change.

They can afford it and they should pay most of it.

There are 19 recommendations in the report which has dropped onto the EPA website, and I am yet to fully digest them all, but boy, this one – #7 in the 19 – is a ripper.

People power is working and that is why I love, through the Terrier, being a part of it.

By the way, thankyou SO MUCH to everyone who has tipped into the tip jar. I will have an update on all days that have a T in them…..which means, tomorrow!

[You can find the full report here]