Bruce Rock STED scheme

back to current projects

Project goal:

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


In construction

Delivery Date:


Bruce Rock will be the second WA town to benefit from a Septic Tank Effluent Disposal (STED) scheme following the STED scheme completion in Hyden.

The scheme takes wastewater that has been partially treated in household septic tanks through a pipeline system and delivers it to an evaporation and infiltration disposal pond system. Once work is complete, approximately 250 residential lots in Bruce Rock will connect to the public system.

Project update

Work is still progressing on the Bruce Rock Septic Tank Effluent Disposal (STED) scheme, with minor construction currently taking place at the wastewater treatment ponds outside town.

We are also in the process of engaging a contractor to complete the remaining work in town, which includes outstanding connections and pipelines.

At this time, work on the Bruce Rock STED scheme is approximately 80 per cent complete.

In November 2017, we encountered challenging rock conditions. To overcome these difficult conditions, we completed a trial in November 2018 using a different rock breaking technique. Since then, we have reviewed our construction approach and we are now able to resume work following the appointment of a new contractor.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by project delays and we thank the community for their understanding.

Residents 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 Senior Project Manager, Paul Kilpa, via email or call (08) 9420 3332. 

If you have a community-related enquiry, please contact Jess Moloney-Christie via email or call (08) 9420 2883.

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.  

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.  

Arranging this connection is the responsibility of the property owner and 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?

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 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 Water Corporation and Department of Health. The projects are prioritised based on public health and environmental considerations.

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

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 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.

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 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.  

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.


back to current projects