$500,000 CBD drain works shelved
BYRON Council has shelved plans for a $1/2 million upgrade of Byron Bay’s under-pressure stormwater drainage system and will instead focus on increased maintenance of the system.
But the increased maintenance, to be funded by the annual $50,000 already budgeted to pay the upgrade loan, is unlikely to stop the minor flooding in the CBD during major storm events.
Cr Richard Staples said the planned $1/2 million upgrade would have only done part of the required work needed to see an improvement in the system.
Even then, said Cr Staples, there was no guarantee that ‘things would be better’.
“We have to expect a little overland flooding in major storm events,” he said.
A report to last week’s strategic planning committee meeting said most of the flooding problems were caused by a system not designed for the intensive development that had occurred at Byron Bay.
The report outlined a number of problems with the stormwater system, in cluding many pipes laid with very little ‘fall’.
It meant, said the report, they were very susceptible to blockage because they couldn’t self-cleanse.
That, combined with under-sized pipes, resulted in the system being easily overwhelmed.
The report said the low-lying nature of the system meant the ocean level could stop water flowing out of the system, causing water to back-up, leading to flooding in the streets.
It said if the council was not seen to be increasing funding for maintenance, it might be opening itself to liability.
Areas regularly affected by flooding include the intersection of Jonson and Byron Streets, Lawson Street, Marvell Street and the lower sections of Middleton Street.