Work is well underway to build a sewerage system in Wilcannia in the Far West of NSW.
According to local contractor Jim Sammon, the old septic tank system was fraught with many problems, which often resulted in effluent overflow into people’s back yards – becoming a massive health hazard, particularly to kids.
The new Gravity system is expected to see improvements to each household’s sewer management.
William Murray works on the project but is also the Chairperson of the Wilcannia Land Council which was a part of the tender process and sat on the review panel to contract the work.
A condition for the successful applicant was to employ local Aboriginal men and there are currently 7 men employed.
The Commonwealth and NSW government jointly funded the new sewerage system, while the existing water supply has already been upgraded under the $100 million New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council and State Government program.
Noeline O’Neil, Principal of the Wilcannia mission school says she’s already noticed the difference with the new sewerage system in place.
“We had difficulties with the smell with the previous septic system. The smell went right into the school. I think with the new system, I believe it’s much healthier for the children.” she said.