The Mount Barker Wastewater Treatment Plant treats septic tank effluent from Mount Barker, Littlehampton and Nairne
Prior to 1996, septic tank effluent was treated in a series of oxidation ponds. The ponds held the effluent for more than 60 days prior to being discharged to the Mount Barker Creek.
In 1997 the operation for treating wastewater included a microfiltration process – a first for South Australia.
The plant produces a high standard of treatment and reduces nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) remaining in the treated waste water.
Construction of the Laratinga Wetlands in 2001 provided further treatment and capacity to store treated waste water.
In August 2003 Council adopted the Strategy for futurecollection, treatment and reuse of STEDS effluent – 2020 prepared by Kellogg Brown and Root Pty Ltd (KBR) to achieve total reuse of treated effluent and improved treatment processes.
The lagoons were upgraded in 2006 to improve treatment process and the on-site storage capacity.
The volume of treated effluent reused has increased, reducing the volume discharged to Mount Barker Creek during winter months although Stormwater run off is being directed (unauthorised) into the system from individual homes effecting treatment capacity.
In 2014 a new upgraded microfiltration plant with a nominal capacity of 5,000 kilolitres per day was installed.
Currently 3,200 Kilo Litres of effluent are treated daily. This is more than what is required to fill an Olympic size swimming pool every day.
Significant growth is being experienced in Mount Barker, Littlehampton and Nairne increasing the amount of effluent to be treated – estimated to be 5,400 Kilo Litres per day by 2020.
The Department of Health's new reclaimed water Guidelines now demands a much higher standard and in response, in 2011, the Little Dublin Road disinfection plant was constructed.
Recycled Water Use
The Mount Barker District Council operates the largest Council wastewater treatment plant and recycled water scheme in SA, targeting 100% reuse of treated wastewater.
> More information on Recycled Water Use is available here: www.mountbarker.sa.gov.au/recycledwastewater
> More information on Non Drinking Water use in Meadows is available here: www.mountbarker.sa.gov.au/meadowswater
The Laratinga Wetlands, constructed in 1999, is a Mount Barker District Council development, located in Mount Barker in the beautiful Adelaide Hills of South Australia.
With a growing population, the disposal of treated water became a concern to Council . For many years the treated water flowed into the Mount Barker Creek and the impact on the ecology of the creek was becoming an issue. Upgrading of the waste water treatment plant began in the late 1990s and included plans to build the large artificial wetland to filter the water further and reuse it for local irrigators, parks and gardens.
Update December 2019 Council commissioned a report to review the Water Resource Requirements of the Laratinga Wetland.