Our Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators at Alstonville have been hard at work unclogging thousands of wipes and other foreign objects from our wastewater processing equipment. But this wastewater hasn’t arrived via our wastewater network it’s been delivered from our shire’s septic tanks. 

If you live on one of our shire's beautiful properties, you would know how important it is to have a well-maintained septic tank. These onsite sewerage management systems do a great job of treating your wastewater on site but they’re not bullet proof. Residents and their visitors must follow the same rules as their urban neighbours – only put the three Ps down the toilet, pee, poo and paper. And when it comes to your kitchen sink remember fat is not your friend.

If you don’t follow these important rules you could clog your property’s pipes, damage your septic tank or cause real damage to our wastewater treatment plant equipment.
When a septic tank is pumped out by a licenced contractor within Ballina Shire it is taken to the Alstonville Waste Water Treatment Plant.

To keep our treatment plant and your septic tank happy follow these simple rules:

  • Don’t let foreign materials (such as nappies, wet wipes or hygiene products) to enter your system 
  • Don’t put fats and oils down the drain
  • Don’t allow vegetation to enter the septic tank

Want more information about caring for your onsite sewerage management system? Contact council’s Environmental Health Officers on 1300 864 444 or visit (search OSSM).

Want to go behind the scenes of your local wastewater treatment plant? This National Water Week, Ballina Shire Council is opening the gates to their Wastewater Treatment Plant gates to show you where your water goes and how it’s treated.

Our treatment plants run 365 days a year and treat a huge 10.9 million litres of wastewater each day.

The free tour will give community members the chance to see the state-of-the-art facility in action. This plant is also home to a solar power panel field, which helps power to the plant!

Here's what Roslyn thought following last year's Water Week Tour - “It was a great tour and I loved the opportunity to learn so much about the good work being done by the Council and staff to make a valuable resource sustainable.”

Tour Information

  • TIME AND DATE: 10am - 11.30am, Saturday 26 October 2019
  • LOCATION: West Ballina Treatment Plant
  • ADDRESS: 72 Fishery Creek Road, West Ballina
  • BYO: Please wear enclosed shoes, hat and bring an umbrella if it looks like rain.
  • REQUIRED AGE: As this is a working site attendees need to be 12 years old and above.
  • ACCESSIBILITY: Attendees need to be aware the site and tour includes climbing some stairs, please contact Council for more information about site accessibility.
  • COST: Free

For more information or to RSVP for the free tour contact Council's Communications Officer on 1300 864 444 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

National Water Week

National Water Week – it’s time to change the world! So let’s start local.

Each October, we refocus our attention on water and its importance to every aspect of our world. This year the Australian Water Association is taking a global approach and has been inspired by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. This UN campaign introduces 17 sustainable goals to young people all over the world to unite them to take action to meet these goals by 2030. 

We are encouraging our local community to think about the importance of water but to get the message flowing through the whole community! After all, children are our future. For more information or to download the colouring-in sheet visit

Water talk every drop counts

With farmers and communities across NSW facing major drought, the value of water has never been clearer. 

In August, after a dry start to winter, the NSW Department of Primary Industries offi cially announced the entire state was facing drought. Since this announcement, NSW has rallied to offer donations and support for our farmers.

Events such as this, reinforce the value of water. Water is key to survival. All living things, including us, depend on water. We need it to drink, wash, cook, clean and grow food.
Our shire is lucky enough to have great water resources. But it’s also easy to take this precious resource for granted. Understanding the importance of water and making small changes at home or work can help save this precious and fi nite resource.

Here's a few easy ways to save water at home:

  • FLUSH LESS OR USE THE HALF FLUSH. It may not seem like much but using the half fl ush can save the average household 35,000 litres of water a year!

  • USE WATER-EFFICIENT APPLIANCES SUCH AS WASHING MACHINES AND DISHWASHERS. Look for appliances with five-star rating. Some front-load washing machines can save 50% less water! This saving is also great for your family’s finances.


  • FIND YOUR WATER METER. Knowing where your water meter is and monitoring your use could save you thousands! A water leak within your property’s plumbing can result in a hefty bill and often go undetected between billing periods. Keeping an eye on your meter will detect this unwanted water loss and cost!

  • TURN OFF THE TAP. If you’re brushing your teeth then remember to turn off the tap!



  • CUT YOUR SHOWER TIME. Have shorter showers or opt for a bath if you plan on showering longer than five minutes.

Lennox Head Wastewater treatment plant for web

Do you know the wastewater treatment process? The journey begins with you.

When you flush the toilet, have a shower or drain the sink you are generating wastewater. This wastewater is pumped to one of Council’s four state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plants where it begins a rigorous treatment process. This process uses air, filtration, chemicals and ultra-violet disinfection to produce water that is safe to release back into the water cycle.

This treated water has low levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, is often crystal clear and must meet exceed strict NSW Environment Protection Authority guidelines to ensure the quality of the treated wastewater.

Ballina Shire Council is at the forefront of industry best practice, and since the introduction of our recycled water service, Council has diverted millions of litres of water from being discharged to the ocean. Instead, this water was pumped back into homes to wash clothes and flush toilets.

Water and wastewater in numbers:

  • Our four treatment plant operate 24 hours a day, 364 days a year
  • We supply 10.5 million litres of water to our community each day
  • We treat 10.9 million litres of wastewater each day
  • We services over 42,000 residents
  • Ballina shire has 332 kms of water pipelines
  • On average, Ballina shire homes use over 3,000 litres of water each week, which equates to about 37 bath tubs

For more information visit our wastewater webpage or contact our Wastewater Engineers on 1300 864 444.

Water Talk water main flushing 2 Large

The flow of crystal clear water from your tap doesn’t happen by accident.

Our shire’s drinking water network has over 350km of pipes that deliver water to our homes and businesses. To ensure this water remains of high quality, we flush water mains at locations across the shire.

Opening select hydrants allows water to flush through the system and is done with public health and safety in mind. To achieve the desired result, Council’s Water Team flushes an average of 5 kilolitres (5000 litres) of water per location – this equates to a water cost of less than $10 per flush. The flushed water is not collected in tankers due to the associated costs, which would be approximately 20 times the cost of the water itself.

We are committed to water conservation and minimising wastage, so we are very selective about where and when we carry out planned flushing. Flushing accounts for approximately 0.0005% of council’s annual water use.
So next time you see council flushing a main you’ll know their work is helping deliver quality water to your tap.