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Email Link   Tumbulgum Wastewater Treatment Plant

At a Glance

The town of Tumbulgum is located on the banks of the Tweed River. It has a sewer system that differs to other areas because the flat land is prone to flooding. Tumbulgum has a vacuum sewer system in place. As such, residents must ensure that tampons, sanitary napkins, cotton buds, toys, cooking oils, fats from cooking and any other foreign objects, are not introduced into their wastewater system. It should also be noted that it is illegal to connect stormwater to sewer system and this is particularly important with vacuum sewer systems.

Tumbulgum Wastewater Treatment Plant
Location:8814 Pacific Highway (East), Tumbulgum
Capacity:Up to 700 people
168 kL/day
Treatment: Activated sludge process
Discharge Point:The Tweed River directly north of the treatment plant.
Upgrades:It was completed in 1998.
The cost of construction was $2.2 million. 50% of this was funded by the State Government and 50% was funded from Council and the local contribution of $2500 per residence.

How it works

Sewage flows to collection pits where a vacuum system is used to transport it to the treatment plant. Up to 4 houses can be connected to each pit. The pits contain a valve that, when opened, sucks the wastewater into the vacuum pipeline. A single vacuum station generates the vacuum for the town. This station then delivers the wastewater to the Treatment Plant.

For the vacuum to occur, air tight seals at various intervals along the length of the sewerage lines are required. Stormwater infiltration and foreign objects, other than human waste and toilet paper, introduced into your wastewater system have the potential to reduce the integrity of each seal resulting in blockages and overflows.


The amount of phosphate is reduced by the addition of Alum (Aluminium Sulphate) to the process. Ultra Violet radiation is used for disinfection before the treated water is discharged. The volume limit for the discharge of liquid waste is 756 kL/day.

Environmental Licencing and Monitoring

For details regarding the Environmental Protection Licence and Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Pollution Monitoring, see Environmental Monitoring.
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