Daniel Brauer from Midcoast Water was invited to the recent Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens Progress Association meeting after having addressed the Association in September last year regarding the proposed use of recycled effluent on Myall Oval.
Mr Brauer provided information about the results of tests on the quality of the town’s drinking water compared with the recycled effluent.
“Although Daniel agreed that the recycled effluent was not suitable for drinking, its quality is still well within acceptable environmental parameters for use as irrigation,” Trevor Jennings outlined.
Mr Brauer said, “There was a natural community reluctance to accept recycled effluent for irrigating parks.”
Midcoast Water has an obligation to dispose of recycled effluent in an environmentally sustainable way.
If long-term disposal cannot be achieved, the future expansion of residential development in Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens may be compromised, according to the Progress Association.
At the meeting there was further discussion about the proposal, with many strong objections being raised by some nearby residents of Yamba Street.
Residents’ primary concerns related to the spray that may drift onto adjacent homes.
Trevor Jennings said, “I had been invited to stand on the balcony of a nearby home during a medium strength north east breeze and although spraying was not taking place at the time, I witnessed the strength of the breeze which could easily be assumed to blow spray onto the balcony.”
Although Great Lakes Council are currently considering the use of different spray heads it was tabled that this would not overcome the possibility of ‘ponding’ and the subsequent possibility that children may play in it.
Although a group of Yamba Street residents believe the continued use of the existing aquifer-sourced water, with its apparent unlimited supply, was the best alternative for irrigating Myall Oval, the Progress Association still supports the general philosophy of recycled products and in this particular instance the use of properly treated recycled effluent for irrigation is therefore supported.
The Progress Association will seek to have Great Lakes Council consider an alternative engineering solution to irrigate Myall Oval so that spray drift does not occur but the environmental advantages of using recycled effluent can still be met by Midcoast Water.