Murray waste stations to be upgraded

THE River Murray puts up with a lot, so the construction of new waste disposal stations at Mannum and Swan Reach over the next few months will come as a relief.

The State Government will spend $1.2 million on the two stations where boaties pump out  sewage and grey water and dispose of rubbish.

Off-shore structures and on-shore pump systems will be upgraded to cater for larger, more modern vessels and to increase the amount of storage space at each site.

River Murray Minister Ian Hunter said several of the 13 waste stations between the state border and Murray Mouth were not big enough to cope.

“There are 13 waste stations on the river, and some don’t have the capacity to handle sewage from larger, modern vessels,” he said.

“Some of the waste stations are also not strong enough to deal with the load of mooring the bigger boats.

“Demand from smaller boats has also increased, with EPA (Environment Protec-tion Agency) legislation requiring grey water and sewage from all river vessels be deposited at a waste station rather than being released into the river.”

An Environment Department spokesman said the work would begin at Mannum in March and at Swan Reach after Easter, and would not depend on Labor retaining government at the upcoming State election.

He said alternative waste disposal locations would be set up while work was in progress.

By reducing the amount of pollution entering the river, waste stations keep disease-causing bacteria such as E coli, and nutrients what cause algal blooms, out of the water.

The old stations had served South Aust-ralia’s 3000-strong houseboat fleet for 40 years.

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