Our Sewer Service

Council operates one sewage treatment plant, located in Whittingham, which provides tertiary treatment of effluent. Operation of the sewage treatment plant is governed by the requirements of Council’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Licence and treated effluent is discharged into Doughboy Hollow near the Hunter River. Wastewater from individual houses, units and businesses enters a network of sewer pipes that travel to a wastewater treatment facility, where it can be processed.

Sewer systems usually have three main components - property connections, collection and transfer systems and sewer treatment plants. From the sewer treatment plant the treated effluent is either released to the environment via waterways or irrigation to land.

Sewer Treatment Plant

The original site was established in 1939 just north of the current site which was established in 1988. The existing sewage catchment comprises of eleven catchment areas across Singleton, each gravitating to its respective pump station. Sewage is delivered directly to the treatment works by four main pumping stations located around Singleton.

The site includes inlet works, two extended aeration tanks of 10,000 EP capacity each, three sludge lagoons of 7,000 EP capacity each, two 1 day detention catch ponds, and an effluent pond of 9 days detention at ADWF. Sewage delivered to the treatment works flows into a collection chamber (balance tank) and then is distributed equally by two parallel flow measuring channels to the two aeration tanks.

The treatment process being used in the extended aeration tanks is the intermittent decant extended aeration (IDEA) mode of the activated sludge process. There are two phases of operation of this IDEA process:

  • The oxidation or reaction phase where raw sewage is brought into contact with the activated sludge (bacterial sludge) in the presence of oxygen. The function of adding oxygen and mixing are performed by floating mechanical surface aerators.
  • Separation phase (aerators switched off), in which quiescent conditions allow the activated sludge to settle within the tank. This settling period allows clarification of the upper layer of the tank. The clear treated liquid obtained is then discharged during the decanting period via decant mechanisms which are lowered into the clear liquid zone.

Treated effluent from the aeration tank is discharged into the one day detention catch pond. If any sludge is being wash-out from the aeration tank it would settle in the pond. Effluent from the catch pond is then diverted to the 9 days detention effluent pond, after which is finally discharged into Doughboy Hollow and further to Hunter River.

Excess sludge from the aeration tanks is pumped into the sludge lagoons and is allowed to accumulate before ultimate removal and disposal. Clear water from the top of sludge lagoons returns to the inlet works by gravity / by pumping.

Reticulated Sewer Network 

The reticulated sewer network is a series of underground pipes (sewers), manholes and pumping stations that transport the wastewater to Council’s sewer treatment plant. Pumping stations are occasionally needed to pump wastewater uphill through a rising main. From here, gravity takes over again and the wastewater flows to our sewer treatment plants.   This network is the responsibility of Council.

Maps of Sewer Supply Areas

Sewer Supply Area

Property Connections

Property connections are the pipes that carry wastewater from houses and businesses to the reticulated sewer mains.  These are the responsibility of the property owner.  

Find out more about Council’s sewer system and your responsibilities here.

Sewer Service Areas

Council provides sewerage treatment services to approximately 14,709 people in the urban footprint of Singleton, including Singleton town, Glenridding, Singleton Heights, the Pinnacle, Hunterview and Darlington. The Maison Dieu area is connected to a pressure sewerage system servicing industrial and residential customers. Council does not supply sewer services to Branxton. 

Click here to view a Location Map for Council’s Sewer Supply Areas.

Complaints and Overflows

To report a complaint regarding Council’s Sewage Treatment Plant (EPL 3088) or to report a sewage overflow please contact:

  • T 02 6578 7290 during office hours (8.30am - 4.30pm) and emergency after hours.