What is wastewater?
Wastewater is defined as the water-borne wastes of a community. It contains approximately 99.9% pure water and 0.1% pollutants by weight.
Wastewater comes from residences, local commercial and light industrial sites, such as clubs, caravan parks, restaurants, commercial laundries, oil company retail outlets and hospitals but it does not include roof water or surface runoff.
Council employs a range of wastewater treatment processes to remove waste from the water so it can be safely reused or returned to the environment. For further information on your local wastewater treatment plant, please refer to the Related Links.
Cleaner Seas Project
The Cleaner Seas Project was a $188M investment to upgrade the northern, southern, Edmonton and Marlin Coast wastewater treatment plants to improve the quality of wastewater being discharged into the local marine environment.
Delivered in partnership with the Queensland State Government, the project has significantly reduced nutrient loading on the marine environment while increasing opportunities for recycled water use from each of these treatment plants. For more information download the Clean Seas Fact Sheet in the Related Documents section.
With recent droughts still fresh in our memory and considerable uncertainty about the impact of global warming on our traditional surface water supplies, there is an increasing focus on alternative water sources as a substitute for traditional potable sources, particularly drought-proof sources such as recycled water.
Cairns Regional Council recycled 1320 million liters of wastewater in 2011/12, a 26% increase from the previous year. This volume is expected to increase even further with the roll-out of the Marlin Coast Recycled Water Scheme. For further information on recycled water at operational sites please view the Related Links section "Wastewater treatment plants".
Marlin Coast Recycled Water Scheme
The Marlin Coast Recycled Water Scheme will supply high-quality recycled water from the upgraded Marlin Coast Wastewater Treatment Plant to existing customers for irrigation purposes as well as supplying recycled water through the residential dual reticulation network for toilet flushing and outdoor water use.
This recycled water scheme will have the dual benefit of reducing potable water (i.e. town water) consumption for non-potable uses (e.g. toilet flushing and outdoor use) and reducing the volume of treated wastewater being discharged to Half Moon Creek.