Work has begun on a $3 million upgrade at the Inverell Sewerage Treatment Plant in northern New South Wales involving drainage works and major repairs to the floor and walls of the facility’s two 35-year-old aeration tanks.

In November 2016, Inverell Shire Council awarded the contract for the upgrade to Eire Constructions of Wauchope.

Inverell Shire Council Deputy Mayor, Anthony Michael, said the upgrade will require both existing aeration tanks to be taken off-line while the work is completed.

“Council is constructing another aeration tank to which will form the basis for a permanent capacity upgrade in the future and also pave the way for important repairs to be completed,” Mr Michael said.

“The existing tanks are 35 years old and that’s regarded as a lengthy time to be in service, so the refurbishment is timely.

“Because Inverell Shire Council has been determined as Fit for the Future, we were one of the few local governments in NSW able to access a $2 million low interest loan from NSW Treasury, with the balance of the project coming from Council funds.”

The project will ensure Inverell is in a position to cater for future growth. NSW Department of Planning modelling predicts robust growth for Inverell Shire over the next 15 years, bucking the trend of rural communities west of the Great Divide.

Construction works are expected to be completed by May 2017, with the refurbishment of the existing aeration tanks expected to take a further four months.

“The obsolete trickling filter plant has been demolished and removed and the site is now ready for the construction of the additional aeration tank,” Mr Michael said.

The contractors will commence with initial drainage works and sediment controls before earthworks commence in late January 2017.

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