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Byron Shire
January 26, 2022

Bayside DA and sewerage treatment

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The ‘Mills Estate’ DA for 50 allotments and a residual lot at Bayside Brunswick raises what could be serious concerns for any DA dependent on the collection system to the Vallances Road STP.

Commissioned in 2011 at a cost of approx $30 million, it lifted Clause 45 ‘Sewerage Moratorium’.  However, Alan Dickens (Byron Shire Echo 10 February) is suggesting that approx five years later the plant  has been showing signs of being hydraulically overloaded in wet weather conditions.

As a former member of the Brunswick Valley Wastewater Steering Committee  we were constantly frustrated by the fact that replacement of the collection system was not part of the brief for the new STP.  We were well aware then of the infiltration problems.

The problem was not solved when the STP came online. Instead, bigger pumps were installed to feed into the STP. They have the effect of pushing influent, which in high rainfall events includes water that has infiltrated into the collection system, into the plant.  The plant can’t cope.

Evidence of this is the spreading of bio solids under the guise of soil enrichment onto the land adjoining the STP. The odour gives it away because the bio solids have not been given the time required to be adequately treated. Correctly treated, bio solids do not give off an offensive odour.

There is no data on Byron Shire Council’s website that Alan Dickens has asked for. Instead what is on the web is data collected for EPA licensing and some maintenance information.  This is not the data that would give the critical information about what is happening at Vallances Road STP.  To refute Mr Dicken’s claim, then daily inflow and rainfall data needs to be made available on the website and in a form that is readily understood.

The aforementioned problem will be aggravated with DAs such as the Mills Estate.  From memory, I cannot recall the committee visioning the rezoning of this General Use land to R3 medium residential density and most definitely, there was no vision of any 7B Coastal Habitat land at Bayside been rezoned for residential development as proposed in this DA.

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads

 


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