Sewage strat­egy re­view

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROBERT MUIR

With a pro­posed car­a­van park and tourist re­sort for some 600 peo­ple with three sewage treat­ment plants be­low the high bank of the Mur­ray River next door to the Pearce prop­erty, Mr Pearce ad­dressed coun­cil’s Septem­ber meet­ing to ex­press his con­cerns.

“The strat­egy states that all sewage sys­tems must be able to prove com­pli­ance be­fore de­vel­op­ment con­sent can be granted,” he told coun­cil.

“The strat­egy lists in­for­ma­tion re­quested from de­vel­op­ers but men­tions no guide­lines, reg­u­la­tions, set­backs or ex­clu­sion zones that ap­ply to large com­mer­cial sys­tems or gives ref­er­ence to where this in­for­ma­tion can be found.”

Mr Pearce said an En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact State­ment was re­quired, seek­ing pub­lic in­put. “The guide­lines state to avoid sites within 250m of sig­nif­i­cant en­vi­ron­men­tal or con­ser­va­tion val­ues. This in­cludes E3 zones in Corowa LEP where sewage sys­tems, sewage treat­ment plants and sewage retic­u­la­tion sys­tems are pro­hib­ited within this zone, he said.”

Any sys­tem fail­ure caus­ing an over­flow could re­sult in raw sewage flow­ing down the bank and into the river sys­tem, he told coun­cil.

“There is a duty of care to be con­sid­ered,” Mr Pearce said. “Coun­cil’s draft Risk Man­age­ment Pol­icy clearly states that coun­cil has zero ap­petite for any risk that may con­sti­tute a threat to the health, safety and wel­fare of any per­son.

“If one sin­gle house­hold sep­tic tank not work­ing prop­erly can pol­lute up to 50kms down­stream, I can only imag­ine the dam­age an in­ap­pro­pri­ately de­signed or lo­cated large com­mer­cial sys­tem could cause.”

Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil Mayor Pat Bourke de­scribed Mr Pearce’s ad­dress as “very in­for­ma­tive, very in­ter­est­ing”. “Coun­cil will seek to work with you go­ing for­ward,” the mayor added.

Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil’s daft on-site sewage man­age­ment strat­egy should in­clude more in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to a bet­ter out­come for all river users and the en­vi­ron­ment ac­cord­ing to Corowa res­i­dent Robert Pearce.

Robert Pearce ad­dresses coun­cil’s Septem­ber meet­ing.

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