Bruce Rock STED scheme

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Project goal:

Delivery of a new Septic Tank Effluent Disposal (STED) scheme to Bruce Rock


In construction

Delivery Date:

October 2017

Documents & Downloads

Construction of Bruce Rock’s Septic Tank Effluent Disposal (STED) scheme started in late March 2017 and is expected to be completed by October 2017.

This work will take wastewater that has already been partially treated in household septic tanks through a pipeline system and deliver it to an evaporation and infiltration disposal pond system. Approximately 250 residential lots will connect to the public system.

Bruce Rock will be the second WA town to benefit from a STED scheme. The first being Hyden, in June 2014, where 130 lots were successfully connected.

Extensive communication has been carried out to ensure support for the project.

Residents were notified prior to the start of work and will receive information about how to connect to the system once it becomes operational.


Who to contact

For more information about the project, please contact Project Manager, Lizelle Moniz, via email or call (08) 9420 3623. 

If you have a community-related enquiry, please contact Chantelle Blight via email or call (08) 9420 2057.

For after-hours assistance please contact our 24-hour Faults, Emergencies and Security line on 13 13 75.

If my home or business is connected to the Bruce Rock STED scheme, how will my rates be calculated?

You will be required to pay sewerage rates once the STED scheme is operational and we have notified you are able to connect. The rates will be charged regardless of whether or not you have connected to the system. This is because the scheme is built to meet the sewerage needs of all properties that are capable of connecting to it. Therefore, the cost must be shared across the affected community to make the scheme financially viable.

You must connect within 5 years from the time we advise you the system is operational.

Sewerage charges are based on your property’s Gross Rental Value (GRV) which is supplied by the Valuer General. The charge is calculated by multiplying a rate (cents in the dollar) by the GRV. The rates are different for each town or area as the cost of providing sewerage services varies for each country town sewerage scheme. A cap applies to residential sewerage charges in country areas and this cap is reviewed yearly.

An estimate of the residential sewerage charges which would be applicable to Bruce Rock based on 2014-15 rates is between $683 and a cap of $866.46. However, as the cap is reviewed annually this will have changed by the time your property is likely to be ready for connection in 2017.

Commercial property rates are based on the number of plumbing fixtures contained within each property (i.e. toilets and urinals). For further information please visit our website at or call 13 13 95.

How much will it cost for my home or business to connect to the STED scheme?

A STED scheme connection is the pipe between your septic tank and our sewer connection point. A narrow trench is dug approximately one metre deep to install a pipe (typically 100mm diameter PVC) to the connection point at your property boundary.

The location of the connection point can only be determined once the design of the STED scheme is complete. Prior to construction starting you will have the opportunity to comment on the preliminary design.

Making this connection is your responsibility and the work must be carried out by a licensed plumber or drainer.

You must connect within five years from the time we advise you that the scheme is operational. The cost of connection varies depending on depth, length and ground conditions. For a residential property, current costs usually range from $1,000 to $3,000, but this can vary depending on individual property requirements (e.g. ground conditions, distance of septic tank from connection point and ease of access to install the connection).

We strongly recommend you obtain several quotes from reputable plumbers. You can contact the Master Plumbers Association on (08) 9471 6661, or email for a list of their members or check the Yellow Pages.

Department of Health may require that your old leach drain be decommissioned after you have connected to the STED Scheme. You should contact the health services section of your Shire to establish the decommissioning requirements.

I am worried about the sewerage rates and connection fee for a STED scheme. What rebates and concessions are available to me?

If you have a Pensioner Concession, State Concession, WA Senior, or both a WA Senior and Commonwealth Senior Health Card, you may be eligible for rebates or concessions on your water bill.

The Hardship Utilities Grant Scheme is a State Government scheme that provides financial assistance to people in financial hardship to pay their utility accounts.

If you have the intention but not the financial capacity to pay your account without affecting your ability to meet individual or family basic living needs, you are considered to be in financial hardship.

To apply, please phone us on 13 13 85 so we can talk through your situation with you.

When will I have to start paying rates? Are the sewerage charges in addition to my current rates?

You will be required to start to pay sewerage rates once the STED scheme is in operation and we have notified you of its availability.

Sewerage rates are charged in addition to your current water rates and will be charged whether or not you have connected to the system.

Making the connection to the STED Scheme is your responsibility and the work must be carried out by a licensed plumber or drainer.

You must connect within five years from the time we advise you that the scheme is operational.

I am worried about the impact of construction on my established garden. Will my garden be reinstated once construction is complete?

Together with the selected contractor we will consult with you and keep you fully informed throughout the construction period.

Prior to construction starting, you will have the opportunity to comment on the preliminary design. When we are ready to start, the contractor will write to tell you when work will begin and provide you with more detailed information about what access may be needed to your property.

Installing a STED scheme requires the excavation of large trenches in order to lay the sewerage pipes. Generally these are between one and three metres deep. The pipes are between 150mm and 225mm in diameter.

As a result there may be some temporary inconvenience to access your property and possible detours to local roads. Contractors do their best to minimise noise, dust, and access restrictions during construction.

We appreciate many people put a lot of time and effort into their gardens. If any trees or shrubs have to be removed, they will be replaced and if lawns, driveways or paving are disturbed they will also be restored. We will ensure that your garden is rehabilitated, as near as possible, to its original condition.

The soil surrounding my property is very rocky and is flooded with underground saltwater. What will this mean during construction? And how will these conditions affect the cost for my property to connect to the system?

It is anticipated that the majority of the sewer pipes within the town-site will be laid at a depth shallow enough to avoid encountering rock. However, it is possible we may encounter difficult ground conditions in some areas of the town-site during construction.

The groundwater table is located several metres from surface and is unlikely to impact construction works.

We strongly recommend you contact your local plumber to arrange an inspection of your property and to receive a quote for your property’s individual cost of connection to the STED scheme.

Why is a STED scheme and not an Infill Sewerage system proposed for Bruce Rock?

Areas for infill sewerage projects are determined by the State Government in consultation with the Water Corporation and the Department of Health. The projects are prioritised based primarily on public health and environmental considerations.

The cost associated with installing deep sewerage to country towns is high and projects are undertaken subject to available funding.

STED schemes are appropriate for locations where standard sewerage treatment and disposal schemes are likely to be uneconomical and where the failure of leach drains in an existing household septic system can result in environmental and health issues. STED schemes are suitable for towns of up to approximately 500 lots.

The Bruce Rock Septic Tank Effluent Disposal (STED) scheme was identified as a priority project on the State Government’s Infill Sewerage Program in 2013, as a result of health and environmental concerns associated with overflowing septic tanks and leach drains in areas of the town-site.

How will a STED scheme impact development in Bruce Rock?

Properties connected to a STED scheme will no longer require leach drains. This will allow development on some properties which are currently vacant and unable to be developed due to the ineffectiveness of leach drains in these areas. It will also provide an opportunity for the Shire to consider a higher density of development within the town-site.

Why are only 250 lots proposed to be sewered in the Stage 1 STED scheme project area?

The State Government has allocated $6 million to the Bruce Rock STED scheme allowing 250 of the 435 lots in the Bruce Rock town-site to be sewered. Lots located within the areas worst affected by overflowing leach drains within the Bruce Rock town-site have been identified for inclusion in Stage 1 of the project.

If my home/business is not included within the Stage One project area, will I be required to pay sewerage rates?

Properties not included within the Stage 1 Bruce Rock STED Scheme project area will not be charged sewer rates because they will not have access to a sewer connection.

My septic tank and leach drain work well and do not currently experience any issues. Do I have to connect to the system if my property is included in the Stage 1 project area and how vital is it to our town that a STED scheme be implemented?

Overflowing leach drains in backyards and laneways of the Bruce Rock town-site are a significant health concern for the community of Bruce Rock. Overflows are also damaging local infrastructure, including roads.

If a STED scheme in Bruce Rock goes ahead and your property is located within the Stage 1 project area, you will be required to pay sewerage rates once the system is operational and we have notified you. These rates will be charged whether or not you have connected to the scheme.

Will any odours be emitted from the ponds? How close will the ponds be to the town-site? Could the ponds contaminate our water supply?

The STED ponds will be located more than 500 metres from the nearest residence to ensure that any odour emanating from the ponds does not adversely impact the community.

No infiltration of treated wastewater from the STED ponds into the soil is expected to occur. The Bruce Rock drinking water supply is stored in tanks west of the town-site, well away from the proposed location of the STED pond site.

Why isn’t the subdivision planned for Bruce Rock included within the Stage 1 STED Scheme project area?

The Infill Sewerage Program targets existing developed properties rather than future developments.

Project funding allows for 250 of the 435 lots in the Bruce Rock town-site to be sewered. The lots within the areas worst affected by overflowing leach drains have been identified for inclusion in this project.

If the value of our house increases once we are connected to the STED Scheme, will our rates also increase?

Residential rates are based on the Gross Rental Value (GRV) of a property as valued by the Valuer General every five years, with the most recent review undertaken in July 2014. If the GRV of your property does increase, then your rates will increase proportionally.

When will we be able to find out the location of the pipes for the Stage 1 project area?

If the Bruce Rock STED scheme proceeds, detailed design work will take place to locate the most effective pipe alignments.

Prior to construction starting, we will consult with you and you will have the opportunity to comment on the preliminary design.

Will I still be able to use greywater on my garden once I am connected to the STED scheme?

Greywater from your bath, spa, shower, bathroom wash basins, clothes washing machine, laundry trough, dishwasher and kitchen sink can still be used to irrigate your garden if you are connected to the STED scheme.

What is a septic tank effluent disposal (STED) scheme?

A STED scheme is designed to take partially treated overflow (effluent) from the existing household septic tanks and deliver it via a pipeline system to a STED pond located a suitable distance from town.

Because the household wastewater continues to be partially treated by the existing septic tanks, the pipes and disposal ponds handling the effluent can be significantly reduced in size compared with a standard infill sewerage system which must handle all the wastewater, including solids.

A STED scheme will allow existing leach drains to be decommissioned.

What are the benefits of a STED scheme?

  • Better public health and safety for the community.
  • Environmental benefits.
  • Effective disposal of wastewater from the town.
  • A practical and affordable alternative to a conventional wastewater scheme.

Why a STED scheme?

Leach drain systems within the Bruce Rock townsite are currently subject to inundation during heavy rainfall in winter months.

The Shire of Bruce Rock has advised residents that no new leach drain systems are currently permitted within the townsite and that the cost to landowners for acceptable alternative on site effluent disposal units can be in excess of $15,000.

STED schemes are a cost effective effluent disposal alternative.

What is a STED pond?

A STED pond is a storage basin designed to receive and further treat effluent which has already undergone a level of treatment in household septic tanks.

These ponds evaporate and infiltrate this treated wastewater and provide an opportunity for re-use.

Options to re-use the treated wastewater for irrigation of the town oval and other areas is being investigated.

Where will the STED pond be located?

We have identified a suitable pond site approximately 500 metres south of the town site.

The selected site will be located to meet odour buffer requirements, allow safe infiltration into the ground and minimise flood risk for the ponds.

Bruce Rock STED scheme

The Wheatbelt town of Bruce Rock has been considered for a STED scheme.

STED schemes may be appropriate for locations where standard wastewater treatment and disposal schemes are likely to be uneconomical and where the failure of leach drains in existing household septic systems can result in health and environmental issues.

Successful STED schemes have been operating in many small towns throughout the country for a number of years.

The cost of the Bruce Rock STED scheme is estimated to be $6 million.

For a STED scheme to proceed, State Government funding must be secured and there must be no more than 50% of eligible voters objecting to the scheme.

The Bruce Rock Shire Council is no longer required to contribute towards the capital cost of the scheme.

What will the STED scheme cost you?

Bruce Rock residents will be required to organise and pay for a plumber to connect your property to the STED scheme and have existing leach drains decommissioned within five years of the scheme being in operation.

If impacted, you will receive a letter regarding your ability to connect and charges when construction is completed.

Annual residential service charges for houses are expected to be in the range of approximately $683 to $866.46. The charges for commercial properties is based on the number of major fixtures (toilets and urinals) on the premises. Commercial properties may also attract a service charge based on water consumption.

Bruce Rock STED project


What is the timeline of the project?

  • Construction to start late 2016
  • Project to be completed within 12 months

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