Alan Dickens, Brunswick Heads.
‘Clear and transparent’. These were the words put forward by the Byron Council’s citizens jury, – words that the community should expect our Council to practise.
Unfortunately at the first hurdle they’ve fallen. On 31 May the Waste Water Advisory Committee (WWAC) was asked to consider a Low Pressure Sewer Pump System (LPSPS) trial in Mullumbimby; this involved a line of 20 to 30 houses.
The WWAC asked for a consultant to be brought in to compare the LPSPS with a vacuum system and the findings to be presented to the next WWAC meeting.
Tuesday week ago the head design engineer and the co-ordinator of W&R met with an expert on vacuum systems from Flovac, discussion was held on extending the Byron industrial estate vacuum system with no mention of Mullumbimby. Somehow the recommendation and minutes now merely ask councillors to approve the LPSPS trial.
So the councillors understand what they’ve approved. The LPSPS involves a pod located on the person’s property that holds raw sewerage, plus the installation of a power board that is connected to the household power supply.
In 2010 this system was costed at $19,000 per property in Mullumbimby. This trial has been explained as being a means to identify the worst areas of infiltration in Mullumbimby.
I have spoken to several hydraulic engineers who fail to understand how installing 30 LPPs will give indication of infiltration as there is nothing to cross reference it against.
I don’t believe this is a trial. W&R will claim the trial is successful and continue installing a LPSPS in Mullumbimby. Does any councillor believe once this LPSPS is in place it will be removed?
Councillors, it makes absolute sense to have a consultant come in and supply an independent report on the most cost-effective, most unobtrusive and efficient system for Mullumbimby.
Councillors should pass a rescission motion and prevent this costly trial until what was agreed to happens: a comparison of two systems is investigated and the results presented to the WWAC for their recommendation to Council.