Alan Dickens, Brunswick Heads
I read Mr Pont’s blueprint for the Belongil recovery. It’s great in theory! Mr Pont should realise by now that constructed wetlands must be maintained which Byron Shire Council’s (BSC) Water & Recycling (W&R) department has shown a lack of ability or interest in doing.
The planned new flow path should show the residents of Byron how little BSC cares. What effect will this have on the flooding problem during heavy rain events when compounded by a high tide in Byron? Does anyone think a short effluent discharge into the Belongil is going to help or worsen the problem?
One has to question the governance of the EPA. The EPA stated pre-2005 that for BSC to close South Byron and augment West Byron STP 80 per cent of effluent leaving the plant had to go to reuse.
The only way W&R has achieved this is by pumping the majority of effluent leaving West Byron STP into the Byron Golf course lagoon. This simply flows back under Bangalow Road into the Byron swamp area. The EPA has never bothered to ensure the provisos it insisted on have been met.
Mr Pont also states BSC is discussing whether to upgrade or replace West Byron sewage treatment plant (STP). The fact is once these biological reduction plants reach their hydraulic load they have to be duplicated. This information is from the Land & Water Conservation Department. This also applies to the Brunswick Valley STP
Considering there were other alternatives to a biological reduction plant concepts available, such as membrane technology that is now used worldwide, that would have been a better alternative.
BSC has spent millions deflecting the fact that the gravity mains sewer system needs to be replaced and in doing so dismissed the concentrated concerns of community representatives dating back to the late eighties. Instead, has allowed millions to be dropped in consultants and contractors pockets for no result.
The next failure of BSC will be the closure of Ocean Shores Treatment Plant in 2023 when they plan to start transferring the sewerage across to Brunswick Valley STP at a substantial cost. This when Ocean Shores is meeting its license requirements and with minimal expense could be upgraded to last another thirty years.