Sewage treatment slammed

TASMANIA'S sewage treatment plants are failing to meet modern environmental standards, according to a water and sewerage state of the industry report by the Tasmanian Economic Regulator.

The regulator said that it was concerned with the lack of progress of important capital works projects which were delayed or deferred by the state's three corporations, which has since been amalgamated into a single body.

In the report, the regulator noted that there was a reported increase in both the number and frequency of overflows on its sewer network for 2012-13 with 66 overflows in the North reported to the environmental regulator.

There were 945 reported sewer main breaks and chokes.

There was a large decrease in the number of complaints from Northern customers, with 32 complaints received in 2012-13, compared with 829 in 2011-12.

The report acknowledged that 1.1 per cent of the state's population received non-compliant drinking water.

TasWater chief executive Mike Brewster blamed the failure to meet environmental standards on ageing infrastructure and increased demand.

He said the amount of Tasmanians receiving poor quality drinking water had been halved over 2012-13.

Mr Brewster said the corporation had started planning for a Greater Launceston Sewerage Strategy to reduce sewage impacts on the Tamar River.

That project is expected to cost up to $250 million and take a decade to complete.

TasWater has forecast a $106 million spend in capital expenditure in 2013-14.

The report also noted that Ben Lomond Water:

 Funded capital works to the value of $34.1 million.

 Sourced 20,759 megalitres of water.

 Owned 1488 kilometres of sewer mains and channels, 203 sewage pumping stations and 35 sewage treatment plants.

 Experienced 311 unplanned interruptions.

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