Landfill Leachate Treatment Wetland

Construction of a wetland treatment system at Burnie’s Waste Management Centre (BWMC) is set to commence in April 2016.

This landfill leachate treatment wetland project is the final stage of the $4.25M federally funded stormwater improvement program (made possible through the Australian Governments Community Infrastructure Grants program). This stage involves removing groundwater/leachate from the sewer system at the Burnie Waste Management Centre.

The aim of the stormwater improvement program is to free up capacity in TasWater’s network to facilitate development of the Lion Cheese Factory upgrade and other industry. The flow from the BWMC represents about 27% of the target removal quantity under the program.

Council has been granted approval from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to develop the wetlands treatment system at the BWMC to treat an average of 490kL of water per day to a quality that is suitable for discharge to the tributary of Cooee Creek, which runs through the site.

The total cost for this project is estimated to be $2.3M.

The project details

The proposed wetland treatment system is to be constructed on top of a rehabilitated landfill cell. Leachate generated from the landfill (which is up to 90% groundwater) is to be treated by the wetland system, to acceptable water quality targets set by EPA, to allow discharge to the creek via infiltration cells and direct overland discharge.

The solution comprises wetland technology to remove low level contaminants through a treatment train comprising a precipitation pond to remove metals, aerobic and anaerobic ponds for biological removal of ammonium nitrogen and nitrate by endemic plants, a polishing pond and final discharge to the creek via infiltration cells within a wet eucalypt forest.

The project will also include waterway rehabilitation to improve biodiversity and natural values within the site.

Benefits of the project include;

  • Increase in environmental flow to the Cooee Creek tributary
  • Reduce leachate overflows to the creek via the sewer network
  • Improve stormwater quality discharge from the site
  • Enhance the aesthetic and biodiversity values of landfill site
  • Return capacity to the sewerage system and reduce cost to the community

The project will provide an opportunity for research, interpretation and project links with the University of Tasmania and school science and environmental studies.


 Project timeline

Civil and hydraulic works which includes formation of wetland cells and installation of pipework is to commence in April 2016. Following this, planting and revegetation works will commence during late winter 2016. The Wetland is scheduled to be commissioned in November 2016.

We need your help

During July - September 2016, Council will be seeking volunteers from the community to assist with planting the 40,000 native plant species. To register your interest in this activity and to ensure you receive updates during the project, please send an email to with your name and contact details.

For more information about the project download the documents below:

Wetlands Community Information

Fact Sheet