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Wastewater treatment

The project has now reached a milestone and the Development Application (DA) has been submitted for the bioreactor (secondary treatment) upgrades.

The DA process allows for stakeholders and members of the community to provide a direct submission to Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Director (EPSDD), the independent planning authority, about the project and Icon Water’s construction plans.  

It is another way for the community and stakeholders to participate in these projects, this time, through the planning approvals process.

Submissions to the DA are due by 4 March 2024. 

Our wastewater treatment process


Our wastewater treatment process

Our wastewater treatment plant has served Canberra’s needs for decades, but some of our assets are aging and elements of the treatment process are nearing capacity. We have a responsibility to protect our environment and continue providing high-quality wastewater services to our community. To do this we need to upgrade, or replace, elements of our treatment process.

Our plans include two significant projects for our primary wastewater treatment plant, Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre (LMWQCC). The first project is focused on our bioreactors and the other targets biosolids.

After rigorous assessment of a number of options, we have now selected technologies for each project. To find out more about the options considered and our decision making process visit our project page.

Timeline – phase one engagement

The purpose of phase one of our engagement was to inform further communication and engagement on the projects and to test our thinking and decision-making approach.

1st Citizens' Panel – 23 July 2022
Introduction to Icon Water, the wastewater treatment plant (LMWQCC). Overview of technology option for management of Biosolids.
2nd Citizens' Panel – 30 July 2022
More on the options for management of Biosolids and comparing trade-offs and benefits. Discussion of where these technologies are used globally and appropriateness of using these technologies in Canberra.
3rd Citizens' Panel – 13 August 2022
Discussion about the options to upgrade the Bioreactors, including the exploration of where these technologies are used globally and appropriateness of using these technologies in Canberra.
4th Citizens' Panel – 27 August 2022
Final discussions around planning for the future, ideas, and options.
Findings report phase one insights and feedback – February - April 2023


Timeline – phase two engagement

The purpose of phase two of our engagement is educate the broader community about the projects, test ideas and seek feedback.

Environmental forum – 24 May 2023
A forum with local environmental and conservation groups. We provided a presentation on the treatment process and the projects, including information on environmental considerations in our decision making and feedback received from the community to date.
Community Councils – June - August 2023
We attended several local community council meetings to discuss the projects and seek feedback.
Community survey – 30 May - 24 July 2023
Emailed to customers and promoted via social media, the survey was designed to help the community learn more about the projects, test ideas, and provide us with feedback. The survey was completed by more than 3,200 customers.
Findings report phase two insights and feedback – October 2023
Development Application submitted – submissions deadline 4 March 2024 
Supporting documents and information on how to make a submission to EPSDD are available here.