JBS Bordertown will look to reach an agreement with Tatiara District Council to allow the meat processor to continue discharging effluent into the council's wetlands.
Council's existing five year agreement with JBS is scheduled to expire on June 30, with the company keen to renew the agreement for an additional five years.
The current agreement allowed for JBS to discharge 45 megalitres of effluent into the western end of council's wetlands.
Council's director infrastructure and operations Aaron Hillier said the company will need to comply with a number of key conditions to ensure that the agreement is renewed. The key conditions include:
- Meet all conditions imposed by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
- All effluent discharged to the wetlands complies with the water quality requirements detailed in the agreement.
- Testing of water quality shall be undertaken.
- A fee of $25 per megalitre is charged.
Mr Hillier said JBS could apply to council to discharge more than the agreed 45 megalitres under specific circumstances. Those circumstances include whether it is a wet or dry year and how full the wetlands are.
The council is still undecided on how much to charge per megalitre, considering allowance for inflation.
"The previous five year agreement had a charge of $20 per megalitre, with the new agreement suggesting a charge of $25 per megalitre. To allow for inflation a cost of $30 per megalitre should be proposed," Mr Hillier said.
"There is a cost to council in administration to read and record meter readings, send invoices and monitor the agreement. This cost is absorbed within council's existing operational budget."
The council has also factored in the risks that could be associated with the disposing of waste water into the council's wetlands.
"In the 10 years that JBS have been disposing of waste water into council's wetlands, the wetlands have always had ample capacity with no risk of overflow to date," Mr Hillier said.
"Council staff will regularly monitor the levels of water in the wetlands and will increase monitoring during high rainfall events."
Mr Hillier reassured there was a low risk that the quality of the waste water discharged into the wetlands would have a detrimental impact on the environment. The water quality must meet all conditions imposed by EPA.
Council staff have contacted the EPA and it has no objections to council renewing the agreement.