With the help of TEAM Irrigation, Dubbo City Council's Greengrove Effluent Irrigation Facility, keeps 100 percent of its city's treated sewage out of the nearby Macquarie River by supplying the sewage to fodder crops using centre pivots. 

Even with an EPA license to release up to 15 percent of Dubbo's sewage into the river, this project uses all treated sewage, turning it into a valuable resource and helping conserve potable water. Waste water projects such as Greengrove have proved to be invaluable in the issues of 1) what to do with vast quantities of effluent water that is being discharged into rivers, which contaminate water supplies and create salt problems, and 2) growing crops for consumption by cattle & sheep.

Commissioned in December 2004, the $7.5 million Greengrove project has won five awards in the last two years. The most recent award came from the Civil Contractors Federation of Australia. The project has been considered to be the best piece of environmental engineering in NSW for 2006.

How It Works

TEAM Irrigation supplied and installed seven centre pivots that irrigate more than 500 acres of crops with treated sewage. Before it enters the irrigation system, the Sewage Treatment Plant treats the sewage through screening, aerating, clarifying and disinfecting, and then stores it in two ponds.

"The centre pivots irrigate up to 16 megalitres of treated effluent sewage per day," said Craig Chandler of TEAM Irrigation. "Each irrigator can be individually computer-programmed to meet the needs of the crop and to enable the operator to keep records of irrigation events and downtime to match EPA records of wind speed and output flow rates of each system daily."

Irrigation using waste water turns a problem into income from, in many cases, an untapped resource.