Shortland Wastewater Treatment Works

Shortland Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Shortland Wastewater Treatment Works serves the communities of Sandgate, Shortland, Birmingham Gardens, Maryland, Fletcher and Minmi.

It has the capacity to treat 14.1 megalitres per day but currently processes around 9.0 megalitres. The plant can also handle wastewater from a population of up to 32,000 people.

The Shortland Wastewater Treatment Works also receives sewage from the University of Newcastle and Saint Joseph's Nursing Home at Sandgate and collects industrial sewage from Kooragang Island, Steel River and Sandgate Industrial areas.


The Shortland Wastewater Treatment Works provides secondary treatment of the wastewater using the following process:

  1. inlet works, including fine screening and grit removal
  2. secondary treatment through two Intermittently Decanted Aeration Lagoon (IDAL) units
  3. treated effluent is chlorinated for pathogen removal and then dechlorinated before discharge to the environment.

Waste activated sludge is aerobic digested and then dewatered onsite using belt filter presses to produce biosolids.

Recycling and reuse

All biosolids produced at Shortland Wastewater Treatment Works are beneficially used for mine site rehabilitation and agricultural pasture improvement projects.

The plant also supplies around nine megalitres of effluent per day to the Mayfield West Advanced Water Treatment Plant for the Kooragang Island Water Recycling Scheme.

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).

Crawchie Creek Restoration and Rehabilitation Project

Hunter Water has been awarded a grant from the NSW Environment Trust to rehabilitate and restore the weed infested land along Crawchie Creek, which is located at the back of the Shortland Wastewater Treatment Works. The site is nearby an active and successful Landcare group site and the Hunter Wetlands National Park.

Project aims

  • Remove substantial weed infestation and revegetate the site with native species.
  • Improve habitat quality for native birds and animals and provide a buffer for the sensitive downstream environment.
  • Connect the upper reaches of Crawchie Creek with the downstream Hunter Wetlands National Park.
  • Improve the quality of the water leaving this site and entering Hunter Wetlands National Park.
  • Strengthen partnerships of Hunter Water with the local Landcare group.
  • Raise community awareness of the value and importance of a healthy environment and the issues affecting our local native landscape.

Project plan

Stage 1: Oct 2019 – Sept 2020

Treatment of weeds including the removal of Coral Tree infestation along the first 100m of Crawchie Creek.

Stage 2: Oct 2020 Sept 2021

Regeneration of the first 100m of the riparian zone with native shrubs and grasses.

Stage 3: Oct 2021 – Sept 2022

Treatment of weeds across the entire 1km of Crawchie Creek and ongoing maintenance of the tree plantings across the site.

Click here to download the Crawchie Creek project site map.

Project activities

  • Weed treatment and removal.
  • Native tree plantings and natural seed regeneration.
  • Community and school tree planting days.

Project grant

This project has been assisted by the NSW Government through the NSW Environmental Trust.

Thirsty for more information?

If you want more information about the Crawchie Creek Restoration and Rehabilitation Project, get your questions answered by contacting our team.