Publications archive - International Activities and Commitments
Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.
Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.
Implementation of Agenda 21
Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, 1996
ISBN 0 6422 4868 0
Over the past three years the Australian Government has worked cooperatively with Western Australia to undertake various projects in the Perth metropolitan area to reduce the impact on regional waterways from sewage. In 1992, twenty-five per cent of the city remained unsewered, relying instead on septic tanks. This was having negative impacts on water quality, through effluent seeping into the ground water aquifer, especially in suburbs adjacent to water courses.
In April 1994 the State Government of Western Australia announced an $800 million, ten year program to progressively sewer areas in the Perth Metropolitan area and country towns in which septic tanks cause health and environmental problems or restrain orderly development. $60.7 million was expended in 1994-95.
The Commonwealth Government has also provided $20 million to Western Australia for sewerage infrastructure improvement projects. Twelve million dollars of this amount was allocated to provide infill sewerage to thousands of households in three main areas of Perth. Replacing septic tanks with a sewerage reticulation system reduces seepage into the ground water aquifer and improves water quality in adjacent watercourses.
Eight million dollars was also allocated for trialing five waste water treatment projects designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of new and innovative Australian technology. The projects were selected in accordance with criteria which set out that the projects should address environmental concerns, and demonstrate innovative approaches and new technology.
A key feature of the various waste water treatment projects selected was the use of new technologies to upgrade treatment of waste water to a standard where it is suitable for re-use by industry or for safe disposal, through the use of biological systems for removing contaminants such as phosphorous and nitrogen. One such project involved creating an artificial wetland, using appropriate soil and aquatic vegetation, to strip nutrients from the Bayswater main drain before the effluent flows in to the Swan River.