The $39 million Brunswick Valley sewerage upgrade has moved a step closer to reality with the completion of two pump stations at Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads.
The pump stations will feed into the new treatment plant being constructed at Vallances Road, Mullumbimby.
Construction of the pipelines between the pump stations and the plant, and a reuse effluent line back to Mullumbimby have also been completed.
Byron Council’s executive manager water and recycling Phil Warner said the pump stations and associated pipelines cost $4.1 million and saw the project reach a significant milestone towards the completion of the augmentation.
Completed on time and within budget, Mr Warner said the pump stations linked the towns’ two new pipelines and used current technology to ensure minimal visual, noise and odour impacts.
The new treatment plant, which will service Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads, is due to be handed over to the council at the end of this year.
Mr Warner said works on the new plant were progressing and extensive works including construction of concrete tanks and associated infrastructure were being built at the Vallances Road site.
He said the original Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads treatment plants commissioned more than 30 years ago, had reached capacity and the new plant would provide additional sewage treatment capacity until 2025.
Mr Warner said a main feature of the new plant was the construction and operation of a physical, chemical and biological treatment plant.
“The treatment plant will also see the end of effluent discharges to Simpsons Creek at Brunswick Heads and now be available for beneficial reuse on Main Arm farmland,” he said.
“This will mean that not only can end users take advantage of the treated effluent and not have to draw irrigation water from the creeks, rivers and groundwater, but the Brunswick Valley sewage treatment plant will only need to discharge into the Brunswick River in periods of extended wet weather.”
Mr Warner said the new plant would make increased volumes of recycled water available and treat water to a much higher standard than the old plants.
He said this would reduce environmental stress on the Brunswick River estuary and contribute to a healthier estuary and river system.
As part of the project in 2009, a section of the riparian zone at the site was revegetated with several thousand native trees, he said.
The area was rehabilitated in order to reverse the effects of a severely eroding riverbank, improve the water quality and improve riparian habitat for mangroves, fish and crabs.
In conjunction with implementation of the augmentation scheme, the council was also doing extensive work on the Mullumbimby sewerage reticulation system to reduce the amount of stormwater that gets into the system in wet weather.
Part of the work had involved the council helping landowners to identify defects in their private sewer pipes.
Residents of Mullumbimby had been completing the necessary repairs and this would help to reduce high wet weather flows that lead to sewer overflows.
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