Effluent may be released in river



MAN-MADE changes to wetland areas used for sewerage drainage are driving the upgrading of Yamba's treatment plant, according to a new Clarence Valley Council environmental impact statement (EIS).

Council water and wastewater manager Greg Mashiah said discharge into the wetland was unacceptable and was creating a situation where the wetland area was too damp.

The 1.5km wetland area is located south of the Yamba sewage treatment plant and is adjacent to Aboriginal land belonging to the Birrigan Gargle Land Council.

Mayor Cr Ian Tiley, said recently the discharge from the existing sewage treatment plant was unacceptable to the local land council as it passed through the land.

He said it was unsustainable environmentally.

An upgrade of the current sewerage system will result in water being diverted from the wetland to other uses, including irrigating the Yamba Oval, Yamba Public School, the Angourie Road playing fields and the Yamba golf course.

"The irrigation will benefit all users of those facilities and minimise the amount of recy- cled water that needs to be released to the environment," he said.

Options for any unusable water include making a deep-water release into the Pacific Ocean or into the southern break of the Clarence River via an ebb-tide release.

The new process includes adding phosphorus at a late stage of treatment, and although the quality of the water will be near-potable standard, there are no plans to use it for drinking.

However, the water may be reused for outdoor purposes and for toilet flushing in the west Yamba development.

The EIS regarding the proposed upgrading of the sewerage system is to be available for public viewing from tomorrow until September 30 at the Yamba Library, Treelands Drive Community Centre and the council offices.

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