Sewerage matters

Our sewerage matters at Maslin Beach

Maslin Beach, be aware you are going to lose your CWMS rebate of around $350 if you don't provide your feedback to Council!

The City of Onkaparinga’s recommendation in the draft budget for 2024/25 to remove the rebate for ratepayers on the CWMS is unfair and inequitable – 6% (or 4,500) of ratepayers contributing to 48% (or $1.6 million) of the projected $3.3 million surplus. This will impact not only Maslin Beach but also Willunga, McLaren Vale, McLaren Flat, Morphett Vale, Clarendon and Sellicks Beach.

Maslin Beach ratepayers, along with ratepayers from six other suburbs across Onkaparinga are part of the Community Wastewater Management System (CWMS). The system is operated by the City of Onkaparinga for the purpose of collecting, treating and reusing or disposing of wastewater from these areas. Rates does not cover this cost!

This system requires customers on the scheme to have a septic tank on their property. The liquid effluent (or waste water) is gravity fed to the pump station while the solid matter is pumped out every four years by a private contractor, selected by Council.

Back in December 1994, the then District Council of Willunga implemented the Septic Tank Effluent Disposal Scheme (STED Scheme). The scheme was implemented in order to remove effluent off-site from the allotments because of difficulties experienced with soakage trenches, and thus causing pollution to the environment.

The original system was financed through a Commonwealth Government grant under the Building Better Cities Programme. The cost for Council to operate, maintain, replace and improve the service is recovered by declaration of an annual seperate service charge payable by owners to which the service is provided.

Fast forward, 30 years and Maslin Beach, plus the other suburbs remain on this antiquated system and is now referred to as the CWMS. This includes the STED Scheme but also the water treatment of waste water and its later use for recycled water irrigation across the region.

Last year, Council sought to privatise the CWMS, however after three rounds of community consultation it was decided that this would not occur https://yoursay.onkaparinga.sa.gov.au/water-assets-strategic-review.

Council have sought feedback through YOUR SAY on their Draft Business Plan and Budget 2024-25 which includes their decision to remove the rebate which is provided to those that are paying for the CWMS (see page 40). Removal of this rebate penalises users for voting to keep the system.

Legally, Councils are entitled to recover the full cost of providing CWMS services. In addition, ESCOSA require that the full cost of providing the service should also recognise a cost of capital AND an allowance for unquantifiable risks associated with CWMS. While this may be so, Council has not been forthcoming in sharing the actual cost of running and maintaining the CWMS. However over the years, Council have refunded CWMS customers this additional allowance through a rebate.

Council is looking to pass their Business Plan and Budget 2024-25 at their next Council meeting in June.

You can still show your support by signing our petition, tell your friends and family.

For more information please check out some FAQs.

By the way, Tea Tree Gully is a great example of how SA Water can take over a CWMS https://sa.alp.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Taking-Control-of-the-CWMS.pdf

GET YOUR VOICE HEARD