SA Water is delivering on its commitment to work together with developer Tallwood and the Mid Murray Council on the proposed relocation of the Mannum Wastewater Treatment Plant, with recent discussions clarifying the key requirements for a future site and a path for ongoing collaboration.
In a recent meeting with the council, SA Water's Chief Executive Roch Cheroux reiterated his support for relocating the plant to facilitate property development on the existing site - but stated as there are currently no operational reasons to move the plant, the full cost needs to be borne by the developer instead of SA Water customers.
"The Mannum plant is in good working order with capacity for future growth," Roch said.
"Our staff perform regular inspections of the treatment plant site to ensure it continues to meet all safety, operational and environmental requirements, and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) also undertakes routine checks," Roch said.
"While there is no evidence the plant is adversely impacting the local environment, and 100 per cent of what it treats is supplied to a local golf club for irrigation, we understand the developer's motivation behind the relocation, to create economic growth in the area.
"We are therefore willing to work with them to facilitate moving the plant to an appropriate location, granted they can meet all relevant conditions."
This includes criteria relating to design, operational handover, Aboriginal heritage, native vegetation and other environmental requirements. There must also be a full remediation of the existing wastewater treatment plant site following decommissioning, and the project must not negatively impact SA Water's existing customer base.
"The developer has been provided this information and is assessing the related financial costs to determine a way forward." Roch said.
During the meeting earlier this month between SA Water and the local council, the need to have more open dialogue between stakeholders was also recognised.
"We will continue to liaise with the Mid Murray Council as needed, and have allocated a dedicated contact within SA Water to answer further questions from the council or developer," Roch said.
"We acknowledge discussions on the proposed treatment plant move have been ongoing for some time, and it's clear all parties involved, including SA Water, would like to see a plan in place for the developer to action when they're ready."
Mid Murray Council Mayor Dave Burgess said he looks forward to working together with SA Water and Tallwood to come to an agreeable outcome on the location of the Mannum Wastewater Treatment Plant.
"We want this result to be in the best interests of the community. Moving the plant from its current location will reduce the risk of discharge entering the nearby river or surrounding environment, during the rare occasion of flooding in the area."
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