Barrington residents enter final year of sewer special rate

Final year of sewage levy for Barrington residents

It's been nine years since the former Gloucester Shire Council hooked the village of Barrington up to the Gloucester sewage system, which means residents are now in their year of paying for it.

In the 2011/2012 financial year, the 33 residents of Barrington were strapped with the cost of hooking up to a new sewage system, regardless of having their own private systems.

As the cost was quite steep from some residents, council opted to divide the cost over a 10 year period by adding a $880 per annum "sewer special rate" to their water bills.

The start of the 2020/2011 marks the final year of the payment requirement, with residents completing the $8800 contribution by the end of June 2021.

Residents were told about the Barrington Sewage Scheme during a public meeting held on July 9, 2011 after the former Gloucester Shire Council had transferred the community's water services over to MidCoast Water.

They were told how the scheme would connect properties to Gloucester's reticulated sewerage service with pressurised sewerage systems.

Historically, we have found issues with the traditional septic systems on residential lots.

Robert Scott

According to MidCoast Council's director infrastructure and engineering services Robert Scott, the project was already underway prior to the transfer.

"These types of schemes are not uncommon in New South Wales. Many urban areas have been serviced with town sewer to upgrade septic systems," Mr Scott said.

"For Barrington, low pressure sewer was a good solution as it suited the topography and the distance between services."

The low pressure system is very efficient for retrofitting into an existing urban area and, in Barrington, mainly services the smaller residential lots in the village, with a few bigger lots connected as well.

"Historically, we have found issues with the traditional septic systems on residential lots," Mr Scott said.

Current regulations would require residents to have a much larger property in order to safely dispose of their own waste as opposed to what would have been approved many years ago.

"Failing septic system can lead to contaminated stormwater runoff and seepage to nearby waterways. Obviously this is not something we want," he said.

In the MidCoast Council Operational Plan for 2020-2021, the Barrington Sewage Scheme is due to collect its final estimated revenue of $29,040 from the no-interest 10-year scheme.

"The bottom line is a good result for residents in terms that a high quality septic system could have cost $20,000 to $30,000 back in 2010 and there is far less chance of any untreated wastewater escaping to the environment."