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TasWater to carry out de-sludging works at Smithton Sewage treatment Plant

TasWater will commence de-sludging works at the Smithton Sewage Treatment Plant from August 2017.


TasWater employee Bevan Anderson working at the Smithton Sewage Treatment Plant site.


TasWater will commence sludge removal works at the Smithton Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) off Pelican Point Road in August. 

An accumulation of sludge in the sewage lagoons means the STP is operating at a significantly reduced capacity and this had also resulted in odour complaints.

Following a spike in complaints last year, TasWater implemented a range of short-term measures including the use of recycled effluent to create a water cap over the sludge in the worst-affected lagoon. This water cap has effectively trapped the odour underneath the surface.

TasWater is now moving forward with a long-term solution, which will involve the removal of thousands of tonnes of sludge from three of the six lagoons at Smithton. Tenders for the work have now closed and are being assessed by TasWater.

The sludge removal works will commence in August 2017 and will take approximately 10 months. Once completed, TasWater will be able to defer any further major capital expenditure on the Smithton STP for at least 15 years while it develops a long-term strategy for the Smithton region.

Most of the extracted sludge will either be transported off-site as liquid or de-watered and spread on local agricultural land as biosolids. TasWater is currently in discussions with a number of landholders in the vicinity of the STP interested in accepting the de-watered or liquid sludge. Some of the sludge will remain on-site for drying in the sludge drying beds.

A TasWater spokesan said residents could be assured that the sludge would be removed, handled and transported in a safe, timely and environmentally responsible manner.

Given the distance of the STP from nearby homes, noise is unlikely to be an issue during the sludge removal process. However, TasWater is advising residents to expect a significant increase in the number of heavy vehicles travelling to and from the STP site.

Residents may also notice an increase in odours while the sludge removal work is carried out. This is likely to be the case particularly during the first two months of the project while the sludge is removed from the first lagoon.

For more information about this project, phone TasWater on 13 6992 or visit