A $750,000 upgrade to a river vessel waste disposal station servicing river boats at Renmark (SA) is now complete.

This upgrade will play a vital role in helping maintain the health of the River Murray.

There are 13 public river waste disposal stations on the river in South Australia and some don’t have adequate capacity to handle sewage and grey water from larger modern vessels.

The stations have holding tanks for boats to pump out their sewage and grey water reducing the amount of pollutants that go into the river— including disease-causing bacteria and nutrients that can cause algal blooms.

The stations also provide a place for boat operators to dispose of litter and hard rubbish.

The station upgrade at Renmark – funded through the Save the River Murray Fund – has included modernising the off-shore structure and on-shore pumping system to cater for heavier vessels, and to increase capacity for liquid waste.

The work has included:

  • A new concrete-topped floating pontoon and aluminium walkway,
  • New electrical and plumbing infrastructure, concrete land base, fencing and a faster pump,
  • A larger pontoon area providing better stability and,
  • Stronger pylons to cater for 80 tonne vessels.

There are about 3,000 houseboats currently registered in South Australia and the stations have been well used over the past 40 years.

Demand from smaller boats has also increased with EPA regulations requiring grey water and sewage from all river vessels be treated on-board or deposited at a waste station, rather than being released into the river.

The upgrade of the Renmark waste disposal station will directly contribute to ensuring the State’s water supplies from the River Murray are adequate and safe for rural communities.

Secure, reliable and good quality water supplies are essential to support healthy and productive industries, communities and ecosystems.

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