Gunnedah’s Wastewater Management Facility has undergone an $8.1 million major remodel to future-proof Gunnedah’s sewerage treatment works until 2038.

Gunnedah Shire Council secured $1.98 million in funding from the NSW Government’s Restart NSW Resources for Regions Program for the project, and allocated the remaining funds from its own budget for the works.

Member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson, and Gunnedah Shire Mayor, Jamie Chaffey, officially opened the Plant on Wednesday 9 May.

“The $1.98 million contribution by the NSW Government to the Gunnedah Wastewater Treatment Plant is an investment in the future of Gunnedah,” Mr Anderson said.

“The plant has not been upgraded since 1968 and was in need of improvement to enable additional treatment volume to support a strong and growing Gunnedah. This upgrade is about meeting residential and business needs on the horizon as Gunnedah continues to expand to meet growth in both the mining and agricultural sectors.”

Gunnedah Shire Mayor Chaffey said the project was in the planning for a number of years and work commenced in 2017 after a successful contractor was chosen.

“Gongues Construction was contracted for the works and has put in a fantastic effort ensuring this project has come in under budget and on time. I would also like to commend Council staff for their forward-thinking and initiative shown throughout this project,” Mr Chaffey said.

Council’s Manager Water Services, Kevin Sheridan, said the major upgrade included the replacement of the inlet works, inlet pumping station, amenities building, digester, telemetry system and the sludge feed averaging tank for a new sludge drying system. New infrastructure includes a septic receival unit, a dewatering building and a dedicated switchboard room, roadworks and fencing.

“Some of the equipment replaced was nearly 80 years old,” Mr Sheridan said.

“The dewatering building has allowed the plant to enter the world of modern technology. It has the ability to dry treat sludge to 28 per cent dry solids, where most other technology sits at around 18 per cent. It also replaces the old drying beds which were really labour intensive and unsightly. We are really pleased with the outcome.”

Mr Chaffey said the major upgrade was initiated to increase the efficiency and modernise the treatment process, improve workplace health and safety and increase the capacity of the plant for future growth of the shire.

“Gunnedah is in a unique position as one of few rural towns in NSW still experiencing growth and it is important we strive to see our infrastructure match this expected growth,” Mr Chaffey said.

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