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Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

Council fail to meet sewage conditions

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Alan Dickens, Brunswick Heads

Hans Lovejoy’s article (December 11) on the consent conditions applied in 2002 for South Byron Sewage Treatment Plant (SBSTP) to be closed and West Byron STP (WBSTP) to be augmented are correct.

I was the sewer operator in charge of West Byron throughout the process. The conditions placed on the augmentation were that 100 per cent of effluent leaving WBSTP go to reuse.

This has never been achieved, most of the reuse effluent has been disposed of via a pipe to the Byron Bay Golf Club (BBGC) and dropped into a lagoon on the golf course property from day one of the augmented WBSTP going online.

There was a hydraulic engineer commissioned to assess what the BBGC could safely accommodate in megalitres of reuse effluent to irrigate the golf course without adversely affecting the soil quality by overloading it with nutrient, phosphorous etc contained in the reuse effluent. John Murtagn’s findings were that the BBGC could effectively take forty megalitres per annum at that time.

The fact is that the pipe used to supply this reuse effluent to the BBGC can be seen running all day, every day of the year. This would suggest Water and Recycling has been dumping reuse effluent in the BBGC lagoon to meet the requirement of this consent condition.

The fact that the BBGC is using Byron at Byron as an effluent supplier creates more questions for Byron Shire Council to answer as to the quantities being pumped from WBSTP to the BBGC supposedly for reuse.

The fact that the BBGC lagoon overflows via a causeway under Bangalow Road and the effect that extra hydraulic load has had on the Belongil catchment area over the years should also be explained.

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