Unfortunately, sewage smells. However we do our very best to minimise odour at our sewage treatment plants (STPs).
We routinely implement a number of measures to lower the impact of odour on the community. These include:
- sealing the sewer
- regular cleaning
- addition of chemicals to prevent odours being emitted
- biological and chemical treatment of odour.
Odour emissions and intensity are affected by a number of variables such as the age of the sewage, wind direction, rain and temperature.
If you have any concerns regarding our sewage treatment plants, or if you notice any damage or faults, please contact us.
Sewage goes through a multi-stage process of treatment at our plants. These processes clean and filter the sewage to remove:
- bad bacteria
- non-organic matter (plastics, wet wipes etc)
- organic solid matter
At some sewage treatment plants, we add Magnesium Hydroxide Liquid (MHL), also known as Milk of Magnesia, to raw sewage. This is an important product that helps reduce odour and protect underground assets against corrosion.
Find out more by downloading our batching plant process diagram (PDF 1.53MB)
Learn more about the sewage treatment process in our education and school resources area.
We own 17 sewage treatment plants (STPs).
They are located in the following areas:
- Bribie Island
- Burpengary East
- Murrumba Downs
- South Caboolture
You can view STP locations on a map of our region.
We are aware of residents’ concerns about odour around our Maroochydore sewage treatment plant. The roof on a sludge digester (a piece of equipment at the plant) has broken unexpectedly, which has resulted in odorous gases leaking from the digester into the air.
We have a dedicated team of experienced staff and specialists working to resolve this issue as a priority.
We are doing some works in the meantime to minimise the odour as much as possible. These include:
Installing odour loggers (Wednesday 13 December) which will help us determine the frequency of odours
We have been able reduce the length of time it takes for trucks to load sludge from the plant from 2 hours to 45 mins – a main contributor to the odour
We are also trialling truck loading times that don’t coincide with periods of peak household activity to minimise any inconvenience to residents. This can be difficult as trucks attend on an as-needed basis once the dewatered biosolids hopper (sludge storage container) is full
For a two to three week duration between January and February 2018 we will be draining and cleaning the sludge digester that has the faulty roof, to enable a condition assessment to be carried out. We are holding these works off until after the festive period.
Fortunately, odour is intermittent and depends on weather conditions.
We acknowledge residents’ frustration and are treating this issue with the highest priority. We are committed to resolving this as soon as possible and sincerely apologise to residents for the inconvenience caused.