Byron’s Wategoes and Paterson Street water reservoirs have ‘serious structural issues,’ with ‘faecal contamination’ according to the peak body that supports the Australian urban water industry.
In its submission to the federal Parliamentary Inquiry into 5G in Australia, The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) make the remarkable claim that increased loadings of extensive telecommunications equipment onto the reservoir roof structures have led to the problems, ‘and its maintenance/replacement was not considered by Telecommunications carriers.’
Heavy telco load
On page 12 of submission 297, available at www.bit.ly/2PLv9XT, it reads, ‘Both reservoirs have extensive telecommunications equipment installed on site’.
‘The antennas and EME RF zones emit around the circumference of the tanks, however the installed support equipment impacts the operational area of the assets.
‘Currently both sites have serious structural issues that cannot be addressed until all communication fixtures are removed from the tank.
‘The stored drinking water is at risk as the roof framing has collapsed in areas resulting in a centre box gutter failing and roof drainage and faecal contamination is entering the tank.
‘The structural assessments of increased loadings onto the roof structure and its maintenance/replacement was not considered by Telecommunications carriers (individually or as a collective)’.
Council’s director Infrastructure Services Phil Holloway told The Echo, ‘Council is aware of the Water Services Australia Report and actually contributed to the report.
‘Council’s schedule to replace roofs on the Wategos and Paterson Street reservoirs is overdue and, unfortunately, it has become very complex, as a number of Telcos have infrastructure situated on the reservoirs and we are negotiating their removal.
‘Staff have been working with the Telcos for a number of years in relation to this issue. This problem is not just being experienced in the Byron Shire – it is a state-wide issue.
‘These discussions are ongoing, and from Council’s perspective, we would like to find a resolution.
‘It is however complex, and this is why the work has not proceeded in the time that Council would prefer.
‘In the interim, there were some temporary repair works completed on both reservoirs earlier in the year.
‘With respect to drinking water being at risk – Council would like to assure residents and visitors that drinking water is not contaminated and is perfectly safe to drink.
Water tested weekly
‘Like all water from reservoirs in the Byron Shire, and the Northern Rivers, the water is tested and monitored on a weekly basis, as is required by NSW Health’.
Holloway added, ‘Staff are also in regular contact with NSW Health and at no time has there been any suggestion or concern about the quality and safety of the drinking water from the Wategos or Paterson Street reservoirs.’