22.8 C
Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

Use of drinking water to irrigate sports fields a waste

Latest News

Michael Lyon elected as Byron Mayor

Owing to the resignation of former Mayor at the end of April, a vote was held today to replace Simon Richardson, until the next election

Other News

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.

It’s D-Day for Byron’s Marvell Street DA

Will a controversial hotel development in central Byron that exceeds both height and floor space limits be given conditional approval at this week’s Byron Council meeting?

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning May 12

Check out what's on going the Byron Shire and surrounding area this week

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Interview with Bob Vegas

The glorious Bob Downe is back with a brand new show: Viva Bob Vegas! at the Brunswick Picture House. He gave Seven the Downe low…

Secret footage from Manus detention centre to be screened in Lismore

A thirteen-minute award-winning documentary based on footage secretly filmed inside Australia’s former detention centre on Manus Island is to be screened in Lismore Thursday night.

It is time to bite the bullet on water reuse, one of the strategies set out in the Rous Water review.

Richmond Valley Council told the community some time ago that when it put in the new pipeline from Woodburn to Evans Head to take effluent for treatment that it would put in a return pipeline to take treated water back to Woodburn for reuse on playing fields, etc.

On the strength of that commitment, the golf club spent hundreds of thousands on infrastructure for the reuse water and there were plans for irrigation of playing fields at Evans Head and, stupidly, for the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome which doesn’t need irrigation.

In the case of the aerodrome, it was shown independently after pressure from the community that the proposal would have destroyed the drainage system, contaminated nearby waterways, and impacted on aviation use of the aerodrome, and so the incredibly dumb plan was abandoned.

Council also planned to dump the partially treated effluent in the Evans River but that was also opposed because the community was able to show through its ‘orange’ experiments that the discharge would wash back on to the main surfing beach. Talk about shitting in your own nest!

Council failed to put in the return pipeline to Woodburn which should have been done when the trench was open and so it has an excess supply of partially treated water, which a council engineer assured us was fit to drink, that it now discharges into a waterway that flows into Salty Lakes in Broadwater National Park.

It continues to add nutrients that could be removed with appropriate technology or a constructed wetland.

Rous and Richmond Valley Council need to revisit this wasteful use of a valuable resource so that potable water is returned to the Rous Water equation.

No point engaging the EPA as it is part of the problem. It is there to issue pollution licences and has a long history of failure to do its job, that is protect the environment.

Yes, there is lots of water available to meet future demand and a dam is not needed. We just need to make sure we have competent people making good decisions in our interest.

The money wasted by Richmond Valley Council and other agencies on dumb and often politically-motivated schemes sometimes reflecting sheer bloody-mindedness could have been used to much better effect to assure a future supply of potable water.

Rous seems to be on the right track, but it has not dealt with the much bigger and more potent issue of limits to growth and the carrying capacity of the north coast which was exceeded many years ago.

Whatever happened to the ‘Region of Villages’ study embraced by Richmond Valley Council initially but then dropped like a hot potato when Council found we had passed the limit to growth!

If you want to see if Richmond Valley Council has learned from its mistakes try this week’s business papers and plans to irrigate playing fields with drinking water!

Dr Richard Gates
, former member
 Evans Head and District Water Committee

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Locals question placing homes in areas of inundation risk

It is where the community fought off Club Med and it is once again in the spotlight as the current owners, Elements, are seeking to have the zoning of the environmentally sensitive area in Bayshore Drive changed from tourism to residential

Go straight to the source on the Future Water Project

Rous County Council has announced a series of information days to be held this month where the community can ‘drop in’ and find out more about the revised draft Future Water Project 2060.

Free mental health workshop for Byron businesses

Business owners in Byron Shire are invited to attend a free 'Healthy Mindset' workshop aimed at providing them with resources and tools to improve mental health and wellbeing, as well as the opportunity to connect with other business owners.


Jillian Spring, Billinudgel In the article –  At a gathering of trainspotters, 21/4/21 by David Lisle, re Tweed Council Rail Trail, it is noted in...