Byron Shire Council says its Byron Bay Sewage Treatment Plant has capacity for another 4,000 premises, rejecting recent public comments about the plant. Utilities manager Peter Rees said recent public comments about the plant were inaccurate and that the community could be confident in the existing infrastructure.
‘In 2015 Council completed an independent capacity assessment of the Byron Bay Sewage Treatment plant and the conclusions were the plant is currently operating at 72 per cent capacity and, based on current settlement projections, an upgrade of the facility would be required by 2025,’ he said.
‘The current projections mean approximately 4,000 houses could be built before the current treatment capacity is reached.’
Mr Rees said the council had already responded to community concerns regarding the development occurring along Ewingsdale Road and its potential effects on the Belongil catchment.
‘Partly in response to these concerns, in 2015 Council resolved to implement three initiatives:
‘1. The formation of the Belongil Catchment Advisory Committee to bring the environmental implementation expertise developed in the management of the sewage treatment plant and associated wetlands; 24 hectare melaleuca plantation and environmental habitats to the broader Belongil catchment. It is expected this committee will bring a whole-of-Council approach to the management of the Belongil catchment.
‘2. Initiation of the Belongil Fate of the Effluent project that will look for alternative uses and flow paths for the effluent emanating from the sewage treatment plant.
‘3. Initiation of an expanded recycled water scheme in Byron Bay to service the public toilet network and associated parks and gardens.
‘Combined, these three projects will optimise flows in the Belongil and enhance the environmental benefits accruing to the catchment,’ Mr Rees said.