16 C
Byron Shire
May 26, 2024

Too many consultants

Latest News

Surfing on the spectrum – free fun for everyone at Lennox and Byron this Sunday

Ocean Heroes will be giving children who are on the autism spectrum the chance to experience what it is like to be in the ocean on a surfboard this Saturday at Lennox Head and Sunday in Byron Bay.

Other News

Cabarita Beach powers up with new EV fast charger

The future of sustainable transport is rolling into northern NSW with the opening of a new electric vehicle fast charging station at Cabarita on the weekend.

Bodies of man, child found in East Lismore home

A report will be prepared for the information of the NSW Coroner following the death of a man and a child in Lismore overnight.

Why does Iron Gates developer get another bite at the DA?

Locals, concerned residents and other parties were left in the dark for the first 15 minutes of the Iron...

Outdoor pickleball courts for Alstonville

Alstonville now boasts tournament-standard pickleball courts that opened to an enthusiastic crowd and players earlier this month. The eight new...

Adam says it’s time for a Sunday bus for north Byron Shire

As many people are aware, there is no public transport in the north of Byron Shire on Sundays, making it difficult for people, young people in particular, to get to where they want to go. Adam Luck has decided to take action on this problem. 

Kinship Festival returns Saturday 25 May to Murwillumbah

The Kinship Festival – a free North Coast cultural festival led by First Nations people – will be held in Knox Park, Murwillumbah on Saturday, 25 May.

After 20-plus years working as a sewer operator, I witnessed exactly what Cr Dey is referring to as to the amount of consultants used by Byron Shire Council (BSC) staff and engineers.

I witnessed on a number of occasions consulting companies being engaged to solve problems that should have been solved internally by Council staff.

I was asked by a Council engineer in the early nineties to go from South Byron STP to the West Byron STP to identify a problem with the plant as the EPA had stated they were going to start fining the council if the problem was not solved.

I took over the running of West Byron STP. I identified the cause of the problem through testing as being that the surface aerators were not capable of supplying enough dissolved oxygen for the plant to nitrify (convert ammonia). I submitted three written reports.

One of BSC’s’s water and sewer engineers visited West Byron on three occasions telling me I was wrong. On one occasion he brought three consultants from Queensland who he claimed were experts in the field of wastewater treatment to also tell me I was wrong.

After eight months of nothing being done to solve this problem a consultant from GH&D arrived one day and told me he had been asked to come down and help solve the problem. He asked me what was happening to which I stated the plant was under aerating resulting in high ammonias leaving the plant and breaching its EPA licence.

Then the consultant stated ‘your process monitoring shows that’. The result was that GH&D were engaged to solve the problem.

GH&D called for tenders for new surface aerators, a company called Bi Jazz won the tender and removed the three surface aerators and installed two new surface aerators. Within two weeks the plant which was decanting 43 Mgs/litre of ammonia was reduced to 2 Mgs/litre of ammonia.

This could have been completely done by BSC Water & Recycling without incurring a large consultant’s bill, rather than solving a problem that we are meant to be experts in.

Alan Dickens, Ballina

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

Wardell landowners asked to support fire ant eradication

Nearly 900 Wardell properties require treatment for fire ants, but the eradication team needs permission from each landowner.

The Darling Muffs of May need your help to reach fundraising target

Raising money to support frontline services for women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness has been the driving force behind the Darling Muffs of May’s fundraising this year.

Why does Iron Gates developer get another bite at the DA?

Locals, concerned residents and other parties were left in the dark for the first 15 minutes of the Iron Gates (Goldcoral Pty Ltd) Land...

Death and Dying expo May 25

On Saturday May 25, a free Death and Dying expo will be held at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall from 10am-2pm.