Fyshwick Sewage Treatment Plant

Please note: Construction work is currently occurring at the Fyshwick Sewage Treatment Plant - there is no public access to the site until further notice.

The Fyshwick Sewage Treatment Plant was built in the 1960s and is located on approximately 32 hectares alongside the Jerrabomberra Wetlands and in the vicinity of the commercial and industrial areas at Fyshwick. The plant treats sewage from the Majura, Fyshwick, Hume, Jerrabomberra and Narrrabundah catchments, releasing the treated effluent either to the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre for subsequent discharge to the Molonglo River downstream of the city to provide important environmental flows, or the North Canberra Water Reclamation Plant for further treatment and subsequent use as high quality recycled water for irrigation.

The location of the Fyshwick Sewage Treatment Plant allows high sewage flows from this part of Canberra to be temporarily stored and then released to the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre in a controlled way. This is particularly important during times of wet weather, when the sewerage system can have high flows for several days at a time.

The treatment process

The treatment process at the Fyshwick Sewage Treatment Plant consists of the following steps:

  • screening to remove detritus
  • grit settlement tanks to remove gravel and sand
  • primary treatment using sedimentation tanks to settle out organic material
  • secondary treatment using trickling filters to further reduce organic material
  • transfer to treatment lagoons for additional polishing

The site includes 10 hectares of lagoons which store the treated effluent and allows for emergency storage during wet weather. The Fyshwick Sewerage Treatment Plant treats around 4.2 ML of sewage per day. The lagoons are part of important habitat for a range of birds, including rare and migratory species.

North Canberra Water Reuse Scheme

The North Canberra Water Reuse Scheme provides recycled water for irrigation to seven sites totaling 70 hectares across North Canberra. The water recycling plant is supplied from the Fyshwick Sewerage Treatment Plant and incorporates ultra-filtration treatment and disinfection to make it suitable for irrigating public open spaces.

The future

ACTEW Water recently completed a review of the Fyshwick Sewerage Treatment Plant taking into consideration the long-term residential growth proposed in the Fyshwick sewerage catchment. The report considered the Plant’s capacity, options for adopting new advanced treatment technologies, the role of the Plant to manage flows during wet weather events and the continued role of recycled water in the north of Canberra.

The Canberra Sewerage Strategy Fyshwick Treatment Plant Report found that the plant, and the associated trickling filter treatment technology, is appropriate for approximately the next 20 years, which matches the remaining life of the Plant, thereby making optimal use of the facility. The Report recommends increasing the capacity of the Plant to treat 6 ML of sewage per day during that time to cover anticipated population increases in the catchment. Based on the recommendations of the Report, works will be undertaken to allow the site to operate in its current fashion until around 2030. These upgrades will also enable the continued use of the North Canberra Reuse Scheme. Prior to 2030 further decisions about the site, such as the provision of a more advanced treatment facility, will be made.

Click here to download a summary of the Canberra Sewerage Strategy 2010-2060.