Reef Councils STP Upgrade Considerations


The LGAQ Cleaner Wastewater Initiative was funded for an initial assessment phase by the Office of the Great Barrier Reef in 2019-2020. This work aims to assist councils in making decisions on wastewater improvements by balancing ecological outcomes with local, social, and financial costs and benefits.

Reef councils play an important role and invest significantly in management activities for maintaining and improving the catchment affecting the GBR and have upgraded many treatment processes in the past. Consequently, council-owned WWTPs now contribute less than 5% of the total land-sourced nutrients flowing to the GBR (although they can still have important impacts on local waterways if not well-managed).

The information was developed jointly by the LGAQ, three Divisions of the Department of Environment and Science, qldwater and Reef Councils to assist in consideration of the following factors when planning a new WWTP or a significant upgrade in the Reef catchments. The outputs include information on:

  1. prioritising WWTP upgrades,
  2. the strengths and weaknesses of different wastewater treatment or management approaches (the ‘Options Matrix’),
  3. a process for evaluating the merits of short-listed options over their life cycle (the 'Life Cycle Analysis'), and
  4. an Investment Strategy outlining case studies for further investment.

This information is summarised on the following pages.


Wastewater Treatment Options

Assistance in considering a broad range of options for Wastewater Treatment Plants

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Life Cycle Analysis

A process for detailed analysis of short-listed options

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Investment Strategy

Investment opportunites to improve reef health and create case studies for all Reef Councils

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Public documents relating to the Reef Councils MIP

STP Standards Knowledge Base - Release Date 15-Nov-2019: - This is a Power BI file and need to be opened in the Power BI App. Point Source Metadata Collection Project - Stage 2: Sewage Treatment Plant monitoring and standards review knowledge base for Great Barrier Reef Catchments. Developed by the Department of Environment and Science and published in August 2019.

Reef Councils MIP Diverse Approaches to STP Stewardship in QLD - Release Date 10-Jun-2019: - Reef Councils MIP presentation on diverse approaches to STP stewardship in QLD delivered by Chris Mooney, Utilities and Government Organisations Assessment, DES

Reef Councils STP Monitoring Std Review - Release Date 10-Jun-2019: - Great Barrier Reef Point Source Metadata Collection Project Stage 2, STP Standards Review: a project overview by Dr Ian Ramsay, Dr Gatut Sudarjanto and Ed Barry, Water Sciences, Science & Technology Division, Department of Environment and Science, 2019

Reef Councils MIP Dorean Erhart Presentation - Release Date 10-Jun-2019: - Reef Councils MIP Presentation by Dorean Erhart, Lead - Climate Change & Great Barrier Reef

Reef Councils MIP Project Design V4 - Release Date 10-Jun-2019: - Reef Councils MIP Project Design delivered by Rob Fearon and Ryan Cosgrove

Reef Councils WWSSA Flyer - Release Date 30-Apr-2019: - The Wastewater Stewardship: Strategic Assessment (WWSSA) Project is the first initiative under the Reef Councils Major Integrated Project plan which aims to prioritise local government response to the targets and objectives of the Reef 2050 Plan.

Reef Councils MIP Objectives and Measures on a Page - Release Date 03-Apr-2019: - Reef Councils outputs, objectives, measures, targets and timeframes on one page.

Reef Councils Project Plan - Release Date 25-Mar-2019: - The wastewater stewardship project will investigate alternative sewage management options and their applicability to addressing nutrient risks from GBR catchments. Providing pathways to reduce nutrient flows to the GBR needs to address the impact from sewage treatment plants and the central role Councils play as stewards of GBR catchments. This project is the initial component required to enable consideration of a larger MIP proposal.

Links to other Reef pages

Reef Rescue Plan | Options Matrix | Life Cycle Analysis | Investment Strategy