Alan Dickens, Brunswick Heads
The wetland at West Byron Sewage Treatment Plant is an essential part of the sewage treatment process. The wetland is the tertiary part of the treatment process, this is known as the polishing process.
The original wetland had plants introduced through it that would remove nutrients and other chemicals that are present in the effluent passing through it.
The hydraulic load and the maintenance of the wetland are conducive to how the wetland will perform as the tertiary treatment of effluent leaving the plant.
Water and Recycling (W&R) has not maintained the wetland correctly. Operators being removed from Waste Water Treatment Plants contributes to the maintenance of the wetland being ignored.
The West Byron plant has always impacted on surrounding land, as the operator in charge of West Byron I witnessed the effluent leaving the wetland spreading onto farms that were situated along the effluent flow path.
Water and Recycling now place their confidence in EPA testing every fortnight on effluent leaving the plant as showing the plant is working effectively. This does not show how the different cycles of the treatment process are working, or show what changes need to be made to the treatment process [to correct problems].
Reuse was a significant part of the design concept of the 2005 [ital] Augmentation of West Byron Treatment Plant, it has always been obvious that more reuse sites needed to be sourced, this would alleviate the impact, by lessening the volume of effluent leaving the plant, on the surrounding environment.