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 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.

Water week homapge image

It’s time to chat – water! National Water Week is just around the corner and we want to get conversation flowing within households across our community.

Each October, National Water Week (21 – 27 October) makes a splash across Australia, inspiring individuals, communities and organisations to work together to build community awareness and understanding around water related topics and challenges. 

This year, council is joining the cause to empower the local community and promote this year’s theme - Water for me, water for all.

This theme encourages young people and the wider community to think about how we use water and how we can protect it so we have it in the future.

The Richmond River catchment is lucky enough to have great quality water but it’s easy to take this precious resource for granted. Understanding the importance of water will help save water and create better waterways for future generations.


Council is offering families who get talking about their water usage habits an incentive this Water Week. Families have the chance to win:

  • A double pass to Wet N Wild pass
  • Ten-ticket pass to Ballina Memorial Pool and Alstonville Aquatic Centre 
  • One-day ticket to Ballina Memorial Pool’s Waterslide.


To enter you just need to answer a few water usage questions – like how many litres it takes to fill an average bath? You must be a Ballina Shire resident to enter. Entries close Friday 2 November. See full terms and conditions below. 

Enter Water Week Competition


Terms and conditions
To participate in the competition, the Participant must be an Eligible PersonTo be an eligible person, the person must reside in the Ballina Shire and have completed the online survey.
Ballina Shire Council employees are not eligible.The prize includes, first, second and third prize. This is a wet n wild double pass, 10-pass tickets to ballina memorial pool and Alstonville aquatic centre and a ballina waterslide day pass - respectively. 
The prizes are not transferable, refundable or exchangeable and cannot be taken as cash Competition closes 2 November and winners will be drawn at random Friday 5 November 2018. 
To be eligible respondents must provide their contact details within the online survey Entry is via the online survey available on ballinawater.com.au 
The winner will be contacted via the telephone details provided in the survey. If contact cannot be made within a reasonable timeframe (two weeks) then a redraw will occur.
Council has the right for to disqualify any entrants or entries where you reasonably suspect any unlawful or improper conduct, such as infringing a third party’s intellectual property rights, or if there has otherwise been a breach of the competition terms and conditions By participating in the Competition, the Participant agrees to these Terms and Conditions Only one entry per person.
Entries on behalf of another person will not be accepted and joint submissions are not allowed. If a participant is under the age of 18 years, they will have deemed to have obtained the permission of their parent or guardian an entry into the competition and for the Promoter to use their entry as set out in these Terms and Conditions.

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.

Water talk hiding water meter

If you can’t find your property’s water meter chances are we can’t either.

Each quarter, water meter readers visit properties across the shire to record water usage for your quarterly bill. But sometimes water meters can get lost amongst dirt, landscaping or overgrown grass. This makes it next to impossible for Council contractors to locate and read a property’s water usage.

When a water meter can’t be located Council staff will contact the resident and then return to the property to try again. Unfortunately, this impacts on Council resources and inevitably costs the ratepayer. 

It's easy to show us your meter! Simply, clear away grass or any other obstructions from around your meter. Another idea is to clearly mark your water meter’s location with a stake and red ribbon.

Water meters are generally read in mid March, June, September and December. So next quarter, remember to find your meter and clear away any obstructions.

For more information, call Council on 1300 864 444.