Narara Ecovillage applies to IPART to vary water and sewer licence

Narara Ecovillage Co-operative Ltd (NEV) has applied to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to change its approach to managing its community’s sewage, drinking water and recycled water needs.

NEV now intends to dispose of its sewage by transferring it to Central Coast Council’s sewage pumping station rather than recycling it for non-drinking uses.

Drinking water will be supplied by Council instead of treating dam water to supply drinking water to the community.

The dam water will be treated to supply water for non-drinking water purposes.

NEV has applied to vary its licences granted under the NSW Water Industry Competition Act.

IPART said NEV seeks to include a new sewer rising main connecting the scheme to Council’s sewer main, extending the area of operations currently authorised by the licence.

Additional changes include a change in companies to provide the necessary technical and organisational capacity to build and operate the water industry infrastructure.

IPART will rule on NEV requests and any changes will be reflected in a new network licence.

The original licences were granted by the State Government in 2017.

The scheme received commercial operation permission in October 2018, to operate a temporary treatment plant to produce recycled water for use in toilet flushing and irrigation, and reticulation networks for drinking water, recycled water and sewage collection.

IPART said it understood this temporary plant was never fully commissioned and has since been removed.

“In 2019, NEV decided to remove the treatment plant from its operations and instead has signed agreements with Council to dispose of collected sewage directly to Council’s sewer network and to obtain drinking water from Council for drinking and for recycled water use within the scheme,” IPART said.

“To enable this change in operations, NEV has constructed a new sewer rising main to transfer collected sewage from the scheme to CCC’s sewer main in Research Rd, necessitating a licence variation to include the infrastructure in its approved area of operation.”

The application is open for public comment until October 4.

Media release, Sep 8