Picton Wastewater Scheme and Water Recycling Plant

We’re developing a strategy to expand the Picton Wastewater Scheme to service new connections and growth in the area.

We'll finalise the strategy by the end of 2019 and we expect the work to expand the scheme finish by 2025.

 

Green pasture grass with rural hills behind in background

Recycled water is used to irrigate up to 119 hectares of pasture land at Picton Farm.

About the project

Picton Water Recycling Plant treats wastewater that’s been used in about 3,800 homes and businesses in Picton, Tahmoor, Thirlmere, Bargo and Buxton.

The Picton Wastewater Scheme includes:

  • pipelines and pumping stations
  • Picton Water Recycling Plant, which is designed to treat an average of 2.6 million litres of dry weather wastewater flows a day.

Once wastewater is treated, it's used to irrigate 119 hectares of crops on the Sydney Water-owned Picton Farm. In limited circumstances, excess recycled water can be released into Stonequarry Creek.

The frequency and amount of treated water that can be released must comply with conditions set by the NSW Environment Protection Authority.

We've been improving the Picton Wastewater Scheme for several years. This includes:

  • increasing the volume of wastewater that can be treated at the plant
  • building pilot wetland cells to assess how well they remove nutrients from the treated wastewater
  • reducing nitrogen levels in the treated wastewater to minimise impacts on the environment and waterways
  • investigating wet weather inflows into our wastewater system.

In 2020, we'll be installing new equipment at the plant to further reduce nitrogen levels in the treated wastewater and minimise impacts on the environment and waterways. This work is expected to be finished by early 2021.

Increased development in the area has led to a significant rise in wastewater coming into the Picton Water Recycling Plant. This additional wastewater means the options to use or release the water once it’s treated are at capacity, that is, the farm is unable to use any more water and the conditions of our Environmental Protection Licence prevent us from discharging more treated water.

This means only some new developments can connect to the system.

Connections are permitted for proposed developments:
  • within the existing Picton Wastewater Scheme boundary that are consistent with existing land use zones
  • in West Picton, East Thirlmere, South Thirlmere, West Tahmoor, South Tahmoor and East Tahmoor.
We are currently unable to provide a wastewater connection for any:
  • planning proposal to rezone land within the existing Picton Wastewater Scheme boundary, including West Picton, East Thirlmere, South Thirlmere, West Tahmoor, South Tahmoor and East Tahmoor 
  • proposed development or planning proposal to rezone land outside of the above areas
  • proposed development or planning proposal to rezone land outside of the boundary of the Buxton and Bargo pressure sewer scheme. 
     

Refer to this map for more details.

We're working on a strategy to expand the Picton Wastewater Scheme. This includes consulting with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Wollondilly Council to identify options that:
  • enable development
  • are cost effective
  • maintain local waterway health.
The strategy is expected to be finalised by the end of 2019. Depending on the strategy that the EPA agrees to, the planning and delivery of this may take up to up to four years. We'll provide more information on this website as it becomes available. In the meantime, developers wishing to rezone land or with projects outside of the servicing area, can discuss on-site wastewater management options with Wollondilly Council if they wish to progress development ahead of this timeframe.
 To learn more, call us on 13 20 92.