22.3 C
Byron Shire
October 16, 2021

Taking care of shit

Latest News

Let’s get real

AFL Aussie Rules Grand Final in Western Australia... Rugby League Grand Final in Queensland... Melbourne Cup in Tasmania?    Margaret Keating,...

Other News

Taking care of shit

The proposal is to close Ocean Shores Sewage Treatment Plant (OS STP) and transfer its load to Brunswick Valley...

Girl Guides launch Child Safe Child Friendly Framework

It’s International Day of the Girl Child and Girl Guides Australia are taking the opportunity to launch their Child Safe Child Friendly Framework.

Natural Resources Commission using ‘propaganda’ to log koala feed trees sat NEFA

The North East Forest Alliance says that the assertion by the Natural Resources Commission report that logging of koala feed trees doesn’t have any impact on koalas is ‘dangerous propaganda’.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Mind Your Language

The other day someone called me a sheeple. I was offended. Not personally, but on behalf of sheep. It’s a term meant to denigrate my agency by suggesting I have herd stupidity. Sheep are incredible, and surprising beings. Before you start denigrating sheep, you should know they are emotionally complex animals who can self-medicate!

Vaxing the community divide

Okay, so this issue is dividing our community into: ‘vaxing is great for our community’ and ‘vaxing is bad’. One...

Can we inoculate against the racism virus?

Like many others, I watched with interest the recently screened ABC documentary, The School that Tried to End Racism.

The proposal is to close Ocean Shores Sewage Treatment Plant (OS STP) and transfer its load to Brunswick Valley STP (BV STP), a centralised facility built 15 years ago to replace Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads STPs built in the 1960s. OS STP was built 30 years ago and is in need of repair or replacement.

BV STP has capacity in dry weather for OS flows, but not in wet weather. So the proposal included what is politely called a ‘Balancing Pond’ at the BV STP. Because our sewer systems leak stormwater into them in heavy rainfall periods, the BV STP is too small to treat combined wet weather flows from OS and BV. Excess sewage would be stored in the new ‘Pond’. When the storm period ends and daily sewage production eventually drops back below BV STP’s capacity, the ‘Pond’ contents would be treated. That’s called ‘Balancing’.

Council’s Water Sewer & Waste Committee, of which I’m a member, met on 30 September and resolved a hybrid strategy instead for the two STPs but without the Balancing Pond. We don’t believe untreated sewage should sit around for days in an open pond. And it isn’t ‘best practice’.

The Committee agrees with the transfer pipeline but wants the asset of OS STP retained and repaired, to handle flows up to its wet weather capacity of say eight megalitres per day. It currently receives peak inflows way above that.

The hybrid solution makes economic sense but there are other factors as well. The BV STP was approved on the basis of an Estuary Management Strategy (EMS) which indicated 20 years ago that the Brunswick River would cope with discharges from OS and BV STPs. The EMS must now be

updated for the new proposal, because it shifts STP discharge from one part of the estuary to another. People flushing their toilets in town want to know they are not buggering up our river (the so-called  ‘receiving environment’).

Council must also focus, as the Committee has said for decades, on getting STP discharges out of the river. This is easily done by re-using treated effluent for irrigation or to replace fresh water for urban consumption, most of which is not used for human ingestion. It’s called closing the loop, a basic principle of environmental management.

Duncan Dey, Main Arm

Previous articleKoalas and dogs
Next articleThanks David

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Mandatory vax

I write to you in response to the article on the front page of The Echo relating to mandatory vax. I find it extremely...

End the cult

A military conflict between China and the USA would very likely result in global nuclear war, a major setback to human civilisation and possibly...

Hundreds queue to have COVID test and two new cases in the NNSWLHD

Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) is urging people to continue coming forward for testing and vaccination after two further COVID-19 cases were reported in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, October 14. 

Charges after cars damaged in police pursuit – Coffs Harbour

Police say a man has been charged following a pursuit, where a number of cars – including an unmarked police car – were sideswiped on the Mid-North Coast yesterday.