The completion of Portland's $12.3 million waste water treatment plant was marked on Monday, March 11.
The Portland Waste Water Upgrade involved the construction of a new waste water treatment plan to replace the existing plant which was at capacity and did not meet NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) discharge criteria.
The project was managed by the Lithgow City Council, which provided co-funding of $2.3 million.
Lithgow City Mayor Ray Thompson said it was fantastic not only for Portland but for the greater city of Lithgow.
"We have been lucky enough in the last six years to put a new waste treatment plant in Lithgow, Wallerawang and now Portland and not long down the track one in Cullen Bullen," he said.
According to Cr Thompson, it was a big infrastructure spend that has set them up for the future.
"Phenomenal for a small town, but when you get the sewer and the infrastructure of water all start to [decay] at the same time, you need a big spend to get back on track again," he said.
"There is nothing worse than not having a sewer."
Lithgow City Council's director of water and waste water Daniel Buckens said the upgrade at Portland will support the future growth within the area.
"Our previous plant was struggling to meet the environmental protection licence limits, this plant currently as it operates well exceeds those requirements, so it has environmental as well as community benefits," he said.
According to Mr Buckens the plant uses a technology that was developed by NSW public works, many years ago called Intermittently Decanted Extended Aeration which uses an aeration type process for nitrification and de-nitrification and then a chemical process to remove phosphorus.
"On the back end of this plant we have chlorination and UV disinfection so if we can achieve very low levels of microbiological contamination in our discharge," he said.
The new plant has a 50 year design life span that has the ability to be expanded if needed.
MP Paul Toole said the upgrade means Portland can increase its population into the future.
"The Portland Waste Water Upgrade is a great outcome for a community whose growth opportunities had been constrained by a sewage treatment plant operating at full capacity," he said.
Mr Toole said the high-quality waste water created by the new plant was suitable for discharge into a local creek as well as reuse.
"That's going to improve outcomes for the environment as well as provide new opportunities for local businesses," he said.
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