RUBYANNA WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT UPDATE

The recent flood has heightened the need for Bundaberg Regional Council to plan for flood resilient treatment facilities. 

The proposed Rubyanna Wastewater Treatment Plant will provide the opportunity for Council to build a treatment plant above the recent 2013 flood height.

Tom McLaughlin, Group Manager Water and Wastewater at Bundaberg Regional Council said the flooding of the Burnett River in January this year had taken both the Millbank and East Bundaberg Waste Water Treatment Plants offline and had compromised Council’s ability to treat effluent. 

“The loss of the Millbank plant, which was almost completely submerged, resulted in Council seeking a Temporary Emissions Permit from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to allow poor quality effluent to be discharged into the river.”

Mr McLaughlin said the general health of the Burnett River was impacted during this period with increased levels of E.coli bacteria present causing the suspension of all recreational activities including fishing in the river. 

“These incidents highlighted the need for Bundaberg Regional Council to provide a flood resilient Wastewater Treatment Plant model and that is what is proposed for Rubyanna,” he said.

The Rubyanna Wastewater Treatment Plant will initially cost $90 million which encompasses the construction of the plant and pipe work to pick up sewerage from East Bundaberg and provide a new effluent discharge pipe to the river.

Mr McLaughlin said the quantity of treated effluent discharged to the river would be reduced given that Council had held discussions with Bundaberg Sugar and canegrowers regarding purchasing the treated effluent to irrigate cane crops in the future.

Independent Chair of the Rubyanna Community Reference Group, Angela Williams states, “the Group continues to be involved in all discussions regarding the proposed Rubyanna plant and has been successful in liaising with Council on issues raised by the community, areas of concern and project planning,” Mrs Williams said.                                                       

“It is important to us that we engage the broader community so all questions relating to this proposed infrastructure project are appropriately addressed. We welcome community feedback and input on the project at any time and encourage local residents and community members to attend the upcoming public information sessions,” she said.

Community meetings on the latest project information will be held at Kalkie State School Hall on Thursday, May 16 from 7 pm until 9 pm and/or Saturday, May 18 from 9 am until noon.

Further information regarding the Rubyanna Wastewater Treatment Plant can be directed to Tom McLaughlin on 1300 883 699 or Angela Williams on 0427217077.

13 May 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

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