Overview of CWMS

The State Government provides full sewage collection, treatment and disposal services for metropolitan Adelaide and the major provincial cities, about 90% of the State's 'wastewater' population, while Local Government is responsible for effluent and some sewage collection, treatment and disposal services for other country towns.

Local Government currently operates 175 Community Wastewater Management Systems (CWMS) in 50 councils throughout the state.

Most CWMS in SA are owned and operated by the Local Authority (Councils) in which they are situated.

A CWMS is a system designed to collect, treat, re-use and/or dispose of primary treated effluent from septic tanks on individual properties.

The collection system is a network of pipes and pumping stations which transport the effluent from the septic tanks to the treatment site. In some cases (generally rare) no pumping stations are required where the collection system operates by gravity.

The treatment system can be by either:

  • facultative (oxidation) lagoons where effluent is stored and treated by aerobic action. Mechanical aeration is sometimes installed to speed up the process and/or reduce the size of the lagoon system; or
  • mechanical treatment plants where aerobic action is undertaken in a series of aerated tanks.

The disposal system can be by either:

  • evaporation ponds; or
  • irrigation systems or other re-use (eg, wetlands).

Generally many of the older systems are lagoon systems (facultative lagoon and evaporation pond) whilst the newer systems tend to comprise mechanical treatment plants, a storage pond and an irrigation system onto parklands, golf courses or crops.

The CWMS Management Committee is responsible for providing advice to the LGA Board and the responsible State Government Minister(s) in accordance with the CWMS Funding Deed.

The role of the CWMS Management Committee is:

  • To provide support and oversight to the LGA in the management of:
    • State Government-subsidised new CWMS construction projects; and
    • The sustainable management of existing CWMS by councils.
  • To determine the terms under which these CWMS projects will be funded and managed, and to provide information regarding these terms as outlined in the agreed CMC Body of Work to the State Government.
  • To assist the LGA and the Minister to meet all requirements and expectations of the CWMS Funding Deed, by submitting reports on the operation and financial management of the program to the LGA Board as required; and to the Minister responsible for the CWMS Program according the requirements included in the Funding Deed.
  • To consider and respond to any other matter relating to CWMS referred to the Committee by the President of the LGA or the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government.
  • To assist the LGA and the Minister to meet all requirements and expectations of the CWMS Funding Deed, by submitting reports on the operation and financial management of the program to the LGA Board as required; and to the Minister responsible for the CWMS Program according the requirements included in the Funding Deed.

Andrew Haste (Chairperson) - Local Government Association
Russell Peate - Copper Coast Council
Tim Gubbin - Environment Protection Agency
Alex Hart - Office of Local Government
Nina Allen - SA Health
Martin Allen - Department for Water

LGA CWMS Program Manager, Michelle Wittholz is also in attendance.

Announcements

The Local Government Association of South Australia in partnership with the District Council of Peterborough and Flinders University wins at the prestigious Australian Water Association’s South Australian Water Awards.

The award is the SA water industry’s highest accolades. The Awards acknowledge the sector’s “best of the best”, shining a spotlight on exceptional achievements across the state in a range of organizational and individual categories.

The project was for world leading innovation in the design, construction and operation for a new wastewater treatment system for Peterborough, a town of 1,500, 250km north of Adelaide in South Australia.

The project was jointly funded by the Australian Government through the National Stronger Regions Fund, the South Australian Government though the LGA CWMS Committee and Council.To view the AWA announcement, please click here.

A highlight from the April 2017 Council Best Practice Showcase and LGA Ordinary General Meeting, was the announcement by Minister for Regional Development, Hon Geoff Brock of the $47 million, 10 year extension to the state/local government Community Wastewater Management Schemes (CWMS) subsidy funding partnership.

This is a terrific outcome for our communities continuing the construction of much needed of community waste water management schemes in rural and remote communities throughout the state. CWMS projects have been well recognised for their ability to generate much needed regional employment through the construction phase and can open up new economic opportunities for these communities once completed.