Sewer Mining

What is sewer mining?

Sewer mining is a process that is being more widely utilized internationally for the capture, treatment and reuse of the waste water component in active sewerage systems.

Click here to read the 25 February media release on Sewer Mining, with Mayor MacTiernan's comments.

How does sewer mining work?

The process of sewer mining begins with tapping into an approved sewer line and diverting or extracting the sewerage. This sewerage is then extensively treated to produce high quality treated water which can then be reused for various reasons.

There are many ways that the sewerage may be treated to achieve the high quality water output. Commonly a membrane bioreactor system which utilizes a biological process to treat the sewerage is employed.

Is sewer mining technology advancing?

Ever advancing technology in sewer mining techniques and processes has allowed sewer mining to become more efficient and cost effective measure in treating wastewater to a higher quality than ever before. Due to these advancements, sewer mining can be more widely utilized for a range of requirements. Sewer mining is becoming more popular due to the reliability of the end product (treated water) as well as a wider acceptance in industry and society at large.

Sewer mining systems can vary considerably in size depending on the required volume of water. Sewer mining allows for an alternative water source to be secured into the future. This is particularly important in a time that water is in scarce and uncertain supply.  

What is the City doing?

The City is committed to the conservation and protection of water as a valuable resource. Vincent has commissioned a groundbreaking new feasibility study: we’re hoping to construct a sewer mine as an alternative water source to replenish the Hyde Park Lakes and potentially irrigate the park. It begins with tapping into an approved sewer line to divert the sewerage, which is then extensively treated to produce high quality water. The study will also reveal whether we can transport this water to other areas within the City to water the significant green spaces and gardens that we are establishing as part of our extensive new Greening Plan.

Mayor Alannah MacTiernan says, “We recognise that we need an innovative long term plan; Perth’s climate is getting hotter and drier which means we will need to water our green spaces more and more. Vincent’s strong focus on green initiatives such as strategic planting, eco zoning and soil improvement go a long way in reducing our water requirements – but if the City is going to keep expanding at the rate it has been, we need to genuinely evolve our green planning and thinking, especially with regards to water conservation.”

It’s a radical study but if sewer mining is deemed feasible for the City’s requirements, Vincent may be the first metropolitan Council in Western Australia to install such a system. The study is set to be completed in April; subscribe to our Green e-News to stay in touch.

If you have any further enquiries about sewer mining, please contact the City's Project Officer - Parks & Environment on 9273 6027 or by email at jacqueline.parker@vincent.wa.gov.au