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Byron Shire
May 11, 2021

Mullum sewerage trial

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In response to Paul Bibby’s article Opinion Divided over Sewer Trial (The Echo10/7/18).

There are three types of sewerage systems: Gravity, Vacuum, Pressure Discharge (or Low Pressure) Pump systems. Mullumbimby has a 55-year-old gravity system, consisting of old ceramic pipes that have been cracked for decades so that stormwater infiltrates the sewer system and overloads it, causing back-up into some residents’ toilets in heavy rain events.  

Byron Council investigated the relative merits of each system before phasing out septic toilets in New Brighton twenty years ago. 

Their findings were ‘A vacuum collection system is the preferred option’.

Yet, for some strange reason, Council installed these pumps that their own study found to be inferior and unreliable!

And unreliable they have proven to be: Some pumps have had to be replaced multiple times within their life expectancy, most probably because of repeated failures in the grinders in the pumps.  And New Brighton property owners have been unaware they have been footing the electricity charges for the pumps for years. Mullumbimby residents have not been consulted as to whether we want these pumps installed in our yards.

Surely it is obvious given the cost of installing these pumps that it will not in fact be a trial, but a permanent ‘solution’.

A comparative study such as was done for New Brighton needs to be done for Mullumbimby before anything is installed!

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