History of ACT Sewage Treatment

Before a sewage treatment works was built in Canberra, drainage and sewage was very basic. Three temporary, self-contained sewerage works with separate septic tanks were planned and built so they could be connected to a future permanent sewer main.  

Weston Creek treatment plant

Construction of Canberra's first sewage treatment works began in 1925 at Weston Creek. It was designed to dispose of effluent into Weston Creek and then into the Molonglo River, which ended up in the Murrumbidgee River. Because of where it was going, sewage needed high-quality treatment. The Weston Creek plant was completed in 1927, and was extended over time to match the growth of Canberra. It closed in 1978 when the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre (LMWQCC) opened.

Fyshwick plant

A small sewage treatment works was built at Fyshwick in 1967 to treat sewage that could not easily be dealt with at Weston Creek. The Fyshwick plant is now used to treat industrial waste before it is sent to the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre (LMWQCC) for final treatment and release. 

Belconnen Water Pollution Control Centre

Belconnen Water Pollution Control Centre was built at the same time as the sewage treatment works at Fyshwick. Near Ginninderra Creek, this centre was to service the water treatment needs of the Belconnen area and was designed to serve 50,000 people, expandable up to a further 200,000. The main sewer was completed in 1968, with the treatment plant opening in 1970. The Ginninderra Sewerage Tunnel was built so that wastewater from this centre could be transported to LMWQCC. When this work was completed in 1979, the Belconnen Plant was closed. 

Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre

Planned in the late 1960s, the Control Centre was built between 1974 and 1978 at a cost of about $50 million. It has the ability to treat a flow of 100,000 cubic meters of sewage per day to a quality that is better than is often found in natural rivers and streams. The new centre was built to service the needs of a population of 400,000 people and could be extended to serve up to a million people. The Control Centre currently treats 109 million litres of wastewater a day.