Publication Date


Series Number



Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development




Across Australia there is a lack of information on the quality of the water discharged from facilities that are used to wash livestock trucks. This water quality scoping study partially fills that information gap and provides a starting point for future planning, design and construction of livestock truck washes.

The study was undertaken in 2011–12 at the Western Australian Muchea Livestock Centre, and aimed to gain insights into water quality associated with the truck wash facility at that site. These insights can help to inform the planning for further construction of truck wash facilities throughout the state, and whether disposing wastewater to Water Corporation’s sewerage system could be part of a new facility. We examined water quality at primary points of the wastewater treatment system to understand the impact of each part of the system and determine the most appropriate site for detailed temporal monitoring. This was followed by a two-day sampling program at one point in the treatment system. We concluded that the minimum infrastructure requirements to satisfy Water Corporation’s maximum allowable limits for disposal to the sewerage system include sieve bend screens (Hunter screens), an anaerobic or settling pond, and a holding pond to ensure sufficient safety margins if sewer disposal was ever delayed.

We recommend that further consideration is given to estimating the capital and operational costs of a truck wash facility that meets these minimum requirements, compared to a closed system that retains all wastewater on-site, or other systems that recover nutrients from high-value products. We also recommend that a sampling program be conducted across all truck washes in WA to gain insight into possible geographical variations and the wider applicability of this study’s findings.

Number of Pages



water quality, wastewater treatment system, Muchea, truck wash


Maps are not included as part of the complete document download. If this report contains a map, it will be available in the individual parts list below.

This file is 3.0 MB. Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."