The aim of this network is to promote the viability and important contribution of small water and wastewater systems in:
- Decentralised communities
- Rural and regional areas.
The network proposes to:
General information about SWWS
Small water and wastewater systems generally include, individual onsite systems through to community wide treatment plants, which may include a number of houses, buildings and or structures.
Small water and wastewater systems face unique challenges compared with larger municipal systems. These challenges were recently highlighted in a report produced for Infrastructure Australia which helped to define the current problems facing regional water treatment plants. The same issues raised here are often encountered at all SWWSs systems. These included:
- Lack of personnel resources;
- Lower availability of skills and technical expertise;
- Strong competition for skilled employees in regional areas;
- Existing infrastructure is inadequate;
- Lack of protocol and suitable processes for operation and maintenance of existing treatment infrastructure and;
- Lack of reporting and insufficient institutional incentive for utilities to comply with guidelines and licence requirements.
The acceptance and integration of SWWS, namely decentralized plants, is growing as water managers aim to improve the sustainability of new developments, infrastructure and the urban environment. This includes the use of studies such as an integrated water management plans, to help identify where and how decentralized systems can be incorporated into a master plan for a new development. Likewise, a more holistic system wide approach is being taken to close the water loop which can be achieved through decentralized systems.
Other impetuses for raising the status of SWWS include:
- Water and energy nexus,
- Federal and State government funding for community wide stormwater and wastewater reuse projects,
- Incorporation of water efficiency and reuse in green building requirements.
Want to join the Small Water and Wastewater Systems Specialist Network?
If you or a colleague would like to keep updated on the latest
developments and events in SWWS, then join us! To join this network you must be a member of the Australian Water Association.