June 15, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       MR 0620-4

The National On-Site Providers Association, representing on-site wastewater treatment suppliers, has raised concerns about the public health risks of above ground effluent dispersal as questions to the Queensland Government are ignored.

NOPA contacted the office of the Health Minister and Deputy Premier Dr. Stephen Miles on May 25, 2020, asking for advice on the state’s position particularly in relation to airborne effluent dispersal from domestic septic treatment systems.

These efforts have been prompted by research emerging globally from mainstream science-based sources highlighting potential risks and expressing concern over the uncertainty around airborne or aerosol infection management, including in relation to effluent dispersal.

In the letter, NOPA queried whether a risk analysis had been done on airborne infection and wastewater dispersal and whether the state government had established a science-based position on the matter.

NOPA also asked whether any advice had been given to local councils on this issue and whether the government could confirm there is no public health risk.

There has been no response.

NOPA President Chris Taylor said, “Our members are in the frontline of ensuring public safety through this period of higher-than-normal use for domestic wastewater facilities.

We’ve become increasingly concerned about the research, and about the lack of clarity among governments and health officials on this issue.”

Mr. Taylor said that “Possible public health risks associated with above ground effluent dispersal should at least be examined at government level, and protocols established if needed.”

Further information please contact James Rose 0427 419 415

NOPA is a not for profit Association established to provide the wastewater industry with an Association, a voice and a forum for the provision of high quality, cost effective on-site design, effluent treatment, installation and discharge to the environment.

Our children should always be able to play safely in our rivers, our streams and their own back yards.