Water Need, Costs, Alternatives.

Just how important will the water contribution of the proposed Doncaster sewage treatment plant be?       Less than 0.1% of the Desal Plant… And at what cost?

It has been superceded by the Desal, & you are already paying for that.

Three details worthy of note below:

  1. EPA residential Buffer zones around this site are 200m & 300 meters, not the 25m proposed !
  2. Westfield shopping town was not required to accommodate this water source, during their upgrades.
  3. Melbourne’s Storm water is 94% of it’s annual water usage.

It would seem that both parties ( Manningham council & Yarra Valley Water,) were locked in long before they called for public comment and councillor endorsement. Manningham Planning Officers made the third pipe mandatory in all proposals from 2009 while YVW designed and located the plant.


  • The Wonthaggi Desalination Plant was given the go ahead 12 months after the 2008 memorandum of understanding between Manningham and YVW.
  • The Desalination plant will have a capacity to deliver 200 gigalitres.
  • Melbourne’s annual water consumption is between 410-425 gigalitres.
  • Melbourne’s annual stormwater is approximately 400 gigalitres.
  • Melbourne’s annual waste water discharge is approximately 300 gigalitres.
  • The higher cost of water due to the running of the Desalination Plant ($1.97 million per day plus contracted water delivery), will in itself further the prudent use of water,
  • In fairness to YVW and Manningham Council there was no decision on a Desalination Plant at the time of the MOU.
  • Westfield Shopping Town does not have the third pipe facility nor do a number of existing permits.


Construction Cost Estimate    

Item     Total

Water mains   $931,400

Building plumbing       $890,000

Recycled Water Treatment Plant       $4,470,575

Water storage tank     $620,000

Water pump station    $272,205

Sub Total         $7,184,180

Contingency – 30%      $2,155,254

Total    $9,339,434    

Annual Operating Cost Estimate  

Item     Total ($/year)

Water main operation and maintenance       $1,666

Water tank operation and maintenance        $12,907

Building plumbing maintenance        $13,350

Water pump station operation and maintenance      $17,786

Recycled Water Treatment Plant operation and maintenance         $278,417

Flow meter operation and maintenance        $500

Meter reading and billing      $8,010

Total    $332,636 

It is important to note that these costs were estimated during the conceptual design phase of the project, so are just an early estimate. This is why a 30% contingency has been added to the estimated construction costs. Once YVW have finalised the preliminary design we will be able to prepare a more accurate cost estimate.

Buffer Zones

Beyond that – it is way too close to the public  for it’s current size. ( EPA 200m  Buffer Zone guidelines.)

And if expanded to accommodate the potential capacity – even worse by EPA guidelines. ( 300m)




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *