Morpeth Wastewater Treatment Works

The Morpeth Wastewater Treatment Works serves the communities of Maitland, East Maitland, Ashtonfield, Metford, Morpeth, Thornton and Beresfield.

It currently treats 10 megalitres per day and can handle wastewater from a population of up to 60,000 people.


The Morpeth Wastewater Treatment Works provides secondary treatment using an activated sludge process.

It is designed to biologically remove nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and to provide a high level of disinfection.

The plant consists of:

  1. two mechanical step screens
  2. a manually raked bar screen
  3. an inlet lift pumping station
  4. a vortex grit removal tank
  5. a grit classifier
  6. a soil bed filter for odour control
  7. a biological reactor (anaerobic/anoxic/aerobic)
  8. two circular clarifiers
  9. ultra-violet (UV) disinfection
  10. two gravity drainage decks
  11. an aerobic digester
  12. two belt filter presses
  13. a lime clarifier
  14. an effluent pumping station
  15. four maturation ponds (retained from old Wastewater Treatment Works for habitat and effluent reuse storage).

Recycling and reuse

Morpeth Wastewater Treatment Works continuously produces biosolids and all are beneficially utilised in mine site rehabilitation and pasture improvement projects.

Recycled water from the plant is used for:

  • grit and screening washing
  • general wash down around the plant
  • grounds irrigation.

A nearby farmer and golf course also take effluent from the plant for irrigation.

A recycled water treatment plant has also recently been constructed to further treat the effluent. This is to allow reuse in a nearby subdivision at Chisholm where 355 homes have dual reticulation.

As effluent reuse is primarily for irrigation, demands can be much lower during winter due to increased rainfall. Any unused treated effluent is discharged to the Hunter River.

At Hunter Water, we recycle approximately 5,000 megalitres of effluent per year. Learn more about our recycling and reuse initiatives.

Environmental Licence Monitoring

Pollution monitoring data is collected by Hunter Water, as required under the Environment Protection Licences (EPL) issued by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).