Legatus Group Regional Community Wastewater Management Scheme (CWMS) Survey and Sludge Processing Plant Viability Investigation

Location: Clare, SA

Duration: 3 months

Proposed start date: 4 February 2019

Keywords: Wastewater Management, Sludge Processing, Environmental Science, Sustainability, Regional, Social Sciences

Please note: Due to funding requirements, students must have Australian Citizenship or Permanent Residency to apply. Any applicants not meeting this requirement will be ineligible for this project.

Project Background

The Legatus Group (Central Local Government Region of SA) is made up of the 15 Councils and consistent with the charter, the role of Legatus Group includes amongst other things:

  • work together to make the best use of available resources; and
  • collaborate to deliver effective services.

In keeping with the charter, the Legatus Group is progressing a 2-year joint Community Wastewater Management Schemes (CWMS) services arrangements via funding from the Local Government Association CWMS Management Committee. The Legatus Group have set up a committee from their members councils to help guide the program of activities.

Key initiatives include to (1) have a regional list of all systems and (2) investigate a possible business case for a regional sludge processing plant.

Between May and August 2018, 14 of the 15-member councils of the Legatus Group completed a survey of Community Waste Management Scheme (CWMS) which has formed the basis for further work on the regional list of systems.

Legatus Group are keen to have an PhD intern research the sludge use for councils (septic tanks and CWMS). This could include current approaches and forecasted approaches along with linkages to trade waste. SA Water have been approached and they have information which could be adopted for the Legatus Group’s project needs and are willing to have input into this research. This includes some options for work undertaken by GHD for the Mid North and included organisations beyond the boundaries of the Legatus Group with Port Augusts and Whyalla also included.

There have been discussions around regional bio-mass plants and discussions with major waste companies such as Peats Soils and Jeffries Compost in the southern region. There are also pockets of strong urban growth in the Barossa, Light, Adelaide Plains and Copper Coast Council areas and new CWMS systems occurring across the region.

Research to be Conducted

The research to be conducted:

  • Report on the regional wastewater and sceptic facilities incorporating the current and projected figures and locations for generation of sludge.
  • Undertake desktop study of current literature relevant to the region and other regional sludge facilities.
  • Engage with key industry representatives on the outcomes of the findings from the research.

It is expected that the final report will include key recommendations regarding the viability of a regional sludge facility.

The intern will liaise directly with the Legatus Group CEO and be supported by the Legatus Group CWMS Advisory Committee and SA Water.

Skills Required

We are looking for a PhD student with the following skills:

  • Sound knowledge of the waste industry and business planning
  • Understanding of regional communities and issues
  • The ability to analysis qualitative and quantitative data
  • Ability to search, collate and analyse literature from various sources
  • Experience of distilling large bodies of information into accessible information for diverse audiences
  • Experience of conducting interviews/focus groups

Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes from this project include:

  • Concise report with a detailed listing of all current and projected facilities and the level of sludge which is and will be generated and recommendations regarding the viability of a regional sludge facility.

The goal is to ensure the region is actively working in collaboration and being able to sustainably deal with its waste water and sewerage.

Legatus Group are open to the possibility of findings from the project contributing to an academic and/or practitioner journal.

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner.  The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

Applications Close

30 January 2018


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