The opening this week of a new $35 million wastewater treatment plant at Banora Point will improve the health of the Tweed River and support development for the Tweed’s expanding population, according to Tweed Shire Council.
Civic officials and members of the community attended the launch on Wednesday of the Banora Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, which will service the steadily growing areas of Tweed Heads, Banora Point, Terranora and Bilambil Heights.
The council-funded project was helped by a $16.8 million interest-free loan under the NSW State Government Local Infrastructure Fund.
A council spokesperson said the facility, just off Enterprise Avenue, will have the capacity to meet forecast population growth, using new ultraviolet treatment processes and improved filtration to process wastewater from up to 27,000 homes.
It will also significantly improve the quality of the treated effluent, compared to the plant it replaces.
Tweed mayor Barry Longland said one of the most pleasing aspects of the project was the high emphasis placed on improving the final quality of effluent discharged to the Terranora Inlet after the wastewater has been treated.
‘This upgraded facility will bring significant benefits for the health of the Tweed River system as the concentrations of phosphorus will be reduced by 90 per cent and nitrogen levels will be cut by 40 per cent.
‘So while population growth will bring more homes in the area and higher levels of wastewater requiring treatment, the improved treatment process will ensure there won’t be any increase in the amount of nutrients entering the river system,’ Cr Longland said.
The enhanced quality of final treated effluent should also create further opportunities to recycle the treated water, the spokesperson said.
Council already provides recycled water to the Tweed Heads/Coolangatta Golf Course and is investigating other potential uses for the treated water, including future supply to Council’s regional sporting complex at Arkinstall Park.
This is expected to lessen demand on the shire’s potable water supplies and cut the amount of effluent discharged to the Tweed estuary.