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Time to pull the chain

Alan Dickens, Brunswick Heads

Misinformation being supplied by Byron Shire Council’s (BSC) Water and Recycling (W&R) is becoming commonplace. The policy adopted in the ‘90s was to remove the effluent leaving the Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP) so it didn’t enter our waterways and the ocean.

The strategy mainly involved reuse of treated effluent in rural and urban areas.

The Information on the Council’s W&R website is also very misleading – and condemning. The breakdown of reuse from the West Byron plant is 80 per cent to the Byron Golf Club, nine per cent to standpipes for use in roadworks water trucks, six per cent parks and gardens, three per cent nurseries, and two per cent to public toilets. This adds up to 100 per cent reuse – which complies with what the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) asked for, as a condition for allowing South Byron STP to be taken offline.

West Byron STP inflow is approximately 2,000 KLS per day, but increases at times to over 7,000 KLS/ day during storm events. To accept that 80 per cent of the annual total treated effluent leaving West Byron STP is going to end up being used on the Byron Golf Club is totally unrealistic. Alternatively, Council could be perceived as dumping this effluent into the pond at the golf course?

The BSC W&R website also quotes rural farms are taking reuse. This also is totally misleading, as only one farm may be taking treated effluent from Brunswick Valley STP.

Bangalow and Ocean Shores still discharge into the Brunswick River, and I would imagine Brunswick Valley does as well.

At the first Water Waste & Sewer Committee meeting I attended in 2018 I asked a question; ‘Does BSC still have a reuse policy, and is W&R actively pursuing new sites to take reuse?’. The answer was ‘No’. Present at the meeting was the then general manager, the mayor, and three elected councillors. Not one person questioned this response from the W&R representative.


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One response to “Time to pull the chain”

  1. Diana Jo Faith says:

    Thank you for this Allan. This whole subject becomes very confusing. I have been addressing global research on Covid 19. I was horrified by the facts Duncan Dey revealed that noted that an sewage outflow will run into the Belongil, where people swim. Byron Council did not consult the Public.
    The Guardian journal July 23, 2020 noted a most disturbing story. Health Scientists in a Tourist location in Yosimite US acted on a hunch. Despite Tourists being cleared of Covid 19 after current testing methods these Health Scientists tested the sewage and noted a huge amount of Covid 19. This throws up new questions related to this galloping virus.
    The issue of ‘human sewage’…claimed to be ‘treated’ can only be viewed as a fallacy, given that currently there exits NO chemical, drug or scientific known means to obliterate the spread of this virus.
    The community at this stage, addressing ongoing Developments in Byron can only demand the Precautionary Principle, when the distribution of ‘waste’ is mooted by Council and Developers. There is so little scientifically that is known about the spread of this Pandemic.
    Furthermore, Developments seeking approval directly from the NSW State Government (usually ratified) must be most seriously addressed. Yes it is imperative that the EPA is made aware of ongoing research.

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