Sustainable sewerage servicing options for peri-urban areas with failing septic systems

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The provision of water and wastewater services to peri-urban areas faces very different challenges to providing services to cities. Sustainable solutions for such areas are increasingly being sought, in order to solve the environmental and health risks posed by failing septic systems. These solutions should have the capability to reduce potable water demand, provide fit for purpose reuse options, and minimise impacts on the local and global environment. A methodology for the selection of sustainable sewerage servicing systems and technologies is presented in this paper. This paper describes the outcomes of applying this methodology to a case study in rural community near Melbourne, Australia, and describes the economic and environmental implications of various sewerage servicing options. Applying this methodology has found that it is possible to deliver environmental improvements at a lower community cost, by choosing servicing configurations not historically used by urban water utilities. The selected solution is currently being implemented, with the aim being to generate further transferable learnings for the water industry.

Keywords: decentralised, innovation, package treatment plants, pressure sewers, sewerage systems, sustainability

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