Sewage and Wastewater

Wide Bay Water has six wastewater treatments plants and seven wastewater reuse reservoirs that hold approximately 1800ML of treated wastewater.

This water is recycled onto Wide Bay Water's hardwood tree plantations which cover around 450 hectares.

The water is also sold for use on cane farms, golf courses, turf farms, council parks and landscaping.

Wide Bay Water recycles more than 90 percent of the Fraser Coast's treated wastewater helping to preserve the pristine waters of the Great Sandy Strait.

Sewage is waste matter from the community. It includes such things as faecal matter, urine, household and commercial wastewater, and industrial wastes. It does not include stormwater.

Sewerage system

A sewerage system is the network of pipes and structures for the collection and transfer of sewage to the treatment plant.

It is important to have a sewerage system to treat and dispose of sewage correctly because, besides having a bad smell, sewage contains bacteria and other substances that can be harmful to our health.

After the sewage goes through a number of screening processes at the wastewater treatment facility, the liquid content is recycled for irrigation and the solid content is recycled as an agricultural soil conditioner.


Stormwater is water collected or discharged as a result of rain and its run-off.

Collection areas include:

  • Roof water
  • Surface water (run-off from paved and unpaved areas)
  • Sub-soil water (water accumulated within the ground).

Stormwater should NEVER be directed into the sewerage system. It can overload the system making treatment plants unable to cope which can lead to overflows (sometimes in people's houses).

Directing water into the sewage system is illegal under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008.


  • Wastewater is commonly called sewage.

    It is the used water that comes from the bath, shower, sink, laundry and toilet.

  • Wastewater travels through the sewerage pipes to a wastewater treatment plant.

    After treatment, the liquid can be used for irrigation and the solids are turned into soil conditioner.

  • The treatment process depends on which plant the wastewater travels to.

    Hervey Bay has three plants which employ different techniques.

    The basic principles for wastewater treatment are as follows:

    • Grit, sand and other materials are screened out; 
    • Wastewater is mixed with activated sludge (a kind of bacteria) and oxygen to break down organic matter;
    • Water is separated from the mixture through microfiltration or by allowing the activated sludge to settle out;
    • The water is then used as irrigation on sporting fields, tree plantations, golf courses and cane farms; and
    • Some of the activated sludge is separated out and used as soil conditioner, with the rest being returned to the beginning of the process.
  • Stormwater is the water that travels into the gutter from streets, roofs, yards and driveways. It can be rainwater or run-off from washing your car or boat.

    Stormwater enters the stormwater drainage system through street gutters. This system is completely separate from the wastewater system as stormwater drains straight into the ocean, creeks and holding ponds without treatment.

    Council is responsible for all stormwater matters.

  • Manholes are necessary for maintenance and repair of sewerage pipes.

    If you have a manhole on your property, it must be kept clear of obstruction.

    The manhole should not be built over or covered with soil.

Sewage Treatment