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Sewerage Systems

One of the greatest inventions in history has to be the flushing toilet. Thank goodness the days of outdoor toilets are over. With that monumental invention came the added complication of developing systems to remove, treat and dispose of human waste to avoid sicknesses, not to mention very smelly odours. The solution was found in the development of sewerage systems that, at times, could be quite complicated.

Wikipedia provides the following definition; Sewerage collection and disposal systems transport sewerage through cities and other inhabited areas to sewerage treatment plants to protect public health and prevent disease. Sewerage is treated to control water pollution before discharge to surface waters.”

It is no wonder sewerage systems are part and parcel of the construction industry. Whether a new home, commercial building or mine site is being built it is imperative to have a functioning sewerage collection and disposal system. Many construction mining jobs deal with sewerage systems.

Quick facts about sewerage systems

The first flushing toilet was created in 2600BC in the ancient cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro of the Indus Valley civilization. The first sewerage systems were made out of brick, stone and wood materials and continue to function to this day in cities like Rome and Istanbul.

It wasn’t until the late 19th century more advancement into sewerage disposal systems began in a bid to address the issue of an increase in water borne diseases like typhoid and cholera in the United Kingdom.

Even with these advancements some places (mostly rural areas) have no municipal connections to a main sewerage pipe and they have to rely on an “On-Site Sewerage Facility” otherwise known as septic tanks. A septic system is usually a tank buried underground which collects waste that decomposes through various treatments and is then pumped out onto the surrounding land.

In April 2010 Sydney turned on Australia’s first hydroelectric plant; “Australia’s North Head Sewerage Treatment Plant has officially turned on Australia’s first hydroelectric plant that generates energy from treated sewerage. The opening of this plant – which captures energy from falling water within the wastewater treatment facility – is just one of many steps to make Sydney Water’s energy and electricity operations “carbon neutral” by the year 2020.” Read full article at River Network.

Careers in water and wastewater management

Water and wastewater management companies are usually privately owned and operated. They service the mining, construction, industrial, commercial, residential industries as well as resorts and holiday parks. These companies are able to design both permanent and temporary solutions of containerised water and wastewater treatment plants to suit the situation.

The Australian Water Association

The Australian Water Association is Australia’s leading membership association for water professionals and organisations. They support the Australian water sector in the delivery of effective and sustainable water management practices. They have a variety of courses both online and in a lecture setting to help individuals who want to pursue a career in water and wastewater management.

For additional insight into careers dealing with waste management, visit the Master Plumbers Association website.

With the growing need to reduce carbon footprints the advancement of green technology is expanding rapidly and innovative and enthusiastic individuals are required to bring their knowledge and vision to the sewerage treatment area.


Sewerage systems are an utmost necessity to keep individuals and communities healthy. Instead of pumping waste directly into water-filled areas like centuries ago, waste is collected and treated in specialised treatment plants before being pumped out again. All industries are in need of an effective sewerage system including mining, energy and oil and gas.

This industry will always have career opportunities especially with the drive to turn organisations into more eco-friendly participants.

Visit our Construction Sectors page for more information on all the sectors needed to support the resource industry.

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