What is wastewater treatment?
In Queensland, most wastewater is treated at sewage treatment plants. Wastewater is transported from domestic or industrial sites through a system of sewers and pump stations, known as sewerage reticulation, to a sewage treatment plant. Local governments build, maintain and operate most sewage treatment plants.
Operators are licensed under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 to discharge treated wastewater at an acceptable environmental standard into waterways. The Act is administered by the department. The Department of Natural Resources advises local governments about managing, operating and maintaining sewerage systems and treatment plants.
In unsewered areas, local governments may require householders to install individual or household sewage treatment systems to treat domestic wastewater from toilets, kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. The Department of Natural Resources authorises the use of household systems when they are proven to be effective. Local governments will approve their use within the local area.
Most stormwater receives no treatment. In some new subdivisions, treatment of some stormwater to remove litter, sand and gravel has begun using gross pollutant traps.