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Major sewage treatment plant capacity increase for Hervey Bay site selection Major sewage treatment plant capacity increase for Hervey Bay site selection

Fraser Coast Regional Council is engaging with the community to seek feedback on a range of options for Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) upgrade locations and release of the additional recycled water generated in order to meet the needs of our growing population. The consultation activities will also explore new opportunities for recycling water, (regardless of which treatment plant location is upgraded), in order to add to the current expansive irrigation program with turf farms, cane fields and hardwood forests, one of Australia’s largest.

The engagement opportunities are spread over two stages including:

  • A Community Panel made up of a representative sample of people from across the Fraser Coast region who will deliberate on the three options that are being explored and consider new alternative options;
  • Wider community engagement involving Workshops, Community Information Stalls, Site Tours and Key Stakeholder Interviews.

See below to find out more about how to get involved and share your views here Council's Community hub

The online Map is an interactive digital map that shows the Sewage and recycled water network infrastructure as well as the potential future recycled water reuse and release mains for the various site selection options.


Provide feedback

Why are we doing this?

Currently, there are a number of treatment plants and recycled water management systems located in the Hervey Bay area including:

  • three  (STPs);
  • recycled water storage dams;
  • recycled water distribution pipe network and pump stations; and
  • four hardwood plantation (and pasture) irrigation schemes managed by Wide BayWater (WBW).

The current recycled water scheme also includes reuse by private entities, including irrigation for sugar cane, crops, golf courses, turf farms, and water offtakes for dust suppression.

The population of Hervey Bay and the Fraser Coast is increasing. Over the next 25 years the population of Fraser Coast is expected to increase on average by 1.3%  per annum to a total population of approximately 125,000 people by 2036.

The Sewage Treatment Plant at Pulgul is close to capacity and action must begin now to ensure that its capacity is not exceeded by growth in the region.

There has already been significant work undertaken as part of the Site Selection process for the major STP capacity increase. WBW commissioned a site selection study to evaluate options to achieve the capacity increase. The study completed by Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) sought “to assess the Hervey Bay sewerage and recycled waste management system to identify a recommended site for the augmentation to cater for the expected increase in connections”. The options assessed involved the two STPs; Pulgul and Nikenbah, and how to manage the increase in recycled water.

View a copy of the site selection study report (PDF)

The three primary options that have arisen from the study are being shared with the wider community to seek feedback on each of them so that Council can consider the best approach for the future. Depending on which option is chosen, sewage can be redirected from one catchment to another to avoid the treatment plants that aren’t upgraded from exceeding capacity. The site options also have an impact on how the recycled water coming from the treatment plant is managed.

The options

Option 1 Nikenbah STP – 100% reuse

All flows at Nikenbah go into the recycled water scheme

  • Upgrade Nikenbah STP and expand the reuse scheme to reuse 100% of all additional recycled water that is generated in Hervey Bay. Nikenbah must reuse 100% of recycled water as it does not have access to an outfall. This means that the reuse scheme would have to be continuously expanded to match growth.

Option 2 Pulgul STP – Outfall

New outfall offset from the Marina is constructed and the existing recycled water scheme continues to operate as it currently does.

  • Upgrade Pulgul STP and build a new outfall several hundred metres from the Marina. The existing reuse scheme would continue to operate as it currently does and would not be expanded for roughly another 20 years until an upgrade to the Nikenbah STP becomes necessary.

Option 3 Pulgul STP – Outfall + expanded reuse

New outfall offset from the Marina is constructed and the recycled water scheme is expanded whenever beneficial opportunities arise.

  • Upgrade Pulgul STP, build a new outfall several hundred metres from the Marina and continue to expand the reuse scheme. Having a new outfall that can effectively disperse recycled water with minimal impact to the environment builds flexibility into the reuse scheme. This means that the reuse scheme does not have to expand immediately to match growth and WBW can actively investigate and implement beneficial opportunities to expand.  

An additional component of this project is to identify community ideas for alternative opportunities for the use of recycled water.

A map showing the recycled water reuse and release options developed in the KBR study is below



What is an Outfall?

An outfall is the recycled water exit point within a recycled water management framework. This is commonly referred to as ‘discharge’ or ‘release’ location. An outfall could be located into a creek or could be a seabed pipeline discharging into the ocean.
A consideration in choosing an outfall location is that the location should be able to disperse any nutrients so that they don’t have a negative impact on the environment.
In Hervey Bay, the Eli Creek and Pulgul STPs both have licenced outfalls for the release of recycled water to waterways.

What is Recycled Water?

Recycled water is the product of a multi-stage mechanical, biological and chemical sewage treatment process.

What is Effluent?

Effluent is an old term used to describe the product of the sewage treatment process. ‘Recycled water’ is now used whenever the treatment is comprehensive enough to allow for safe reuse.

What is the Hervey Bay Sewerage Treatment Network?

A map showing the different aspects of the sewerage treatment system and catchment areas is available below.

View map

Consultation activities

A range of consultation activities will be commencing from 21 September 2019.

Explanatory notes

Explanatory Notes have been prepared to provide additional information about the Hervey Bay sewage treatment scheme. Explanatory Notes will be available soon that will provide additional information about the project.

Feedback form

A feedback form is available to complete so the community can offer feedback and ideas for the project.

Have your say on the possible options for the Major Sewage Treatment Plant Capacity Increase project. 

Offer your feedback and ideas for the project by downloading the feedback form or participate online here. Alternatively, visit Council’s Customer Service Centres and Council's Maryborough and Hervey Bay libraries for a form and further information.

Community information stalls

Community Information Stalls will be held so you can hear first hand about the project.
Find the project team at:

  • Saturday 21 September Urangan Pier Park Community Markets 7.00am-1.00pm 
  • Sunday 22 September Koala Markets, 6.00am-12noon

Proposed site visit itinerary

Join us for an Educational Site Tours will be available so you can view the current sewage treatment infrastructure in Hervey Bay. Children are welcome. Numbers are capped at 40 participants per bus.

  • Monday 23 September, 9.00am – 12.30pm
  • Tuesday 24 September, 9.00am – 12.30pm
  • Wednesday 25 September, 9.00am – 12.30pm

The site tours will follow the following approximate itinerary and the proposed finish time of 12.30pm allows for any unexpected delays.

time  location
9.00am-9.15am Pick up at the Discovery Centre Park (near the Cultural Centre) 
9.15am -10.00am

Travel to Nikenbah Sewage Treatment Plant


Bus tour of Nikenbah Sewage Treatment Plant

10.20am -10.45am

Travel to Pulgul Sewage Treatment Plant

10.45am-11.05am Bus tour of Pulgul Sewage Treatment Plant

Travel to Hebblewhite Reuse Plantation


Reuse water talk and morning tea break

11.35am– 11.50am Travel back to Discovery Centre Park (near the Cultural Centre)

Pick Up Location: Discovery Centre Park, 166 Old Maryborough Road, Hervey Bay. Complimentary light lunch provided to all participants. RSVP and dietary requirements required. Participants must be able to navigate getting on and off bus. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Community Workshops

Three community workshops will be held where residents and stakeholders can come along to find out more about the Major Sewage Treatment Plant Capacity Increase for Hervey Bay Site Selection project.
The Community Workshops will be held at the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre, 22 Charles Street, Pialba on:

  • Tuesday 24 September 2019, 6.30pm - 9.30pm
  • Thursday 26 September 2019, 9.00am – 12.00 noon
  • Thursday 26 September 2019, 1.00pm – 4.00pm

The workshops are fully catered. RSVP for your place by 9.00am Friday 20 September 2019 via email or phone (07) 3217 6849.

E-Contact Database

To receive project updates sign up to our E-Contact Database. Your contact details will not be used for any other purpose.

To register, please email the Project Team at

For more information

Click here or contact the project team at or speak to a project team member by phone on (07) 3217 6849.