The development and implementation of alternative wastewater servicing approaches in rural communities in Australia appears more feasible than in larger urban developments as many rural centres rely on septic tanks and surface discharge of greywater. This method of disposal creates many environmental, social and economic issues and is seen to limit potential for growth in many towns. This paper describes a generic methodology for the selection of innovative sewerage options for six regional towns in Victoria, Australia. The method includes consultation with stakeholders, multi-criteria assessment and concept design of the most favourable option. Despite the broad range of initial wastewater servicing options presented which included cluster-scale systems, upgrade of existing systems, greywater reuse and alternative collection, the outcome for five of the six towns was a modified centralised collection system as the preferred option. Lack of robust and reliable data on the human health risks and environmental impacts of alternative systems were identified as the primary data gaps in the sustainability assessment. In addition, biases in the assessment method due to stakeholder perceptions were found to be an additional issue.

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