PLANS for an ocean pool at Shelly Beach at Ballina are moving forward, with the engineering design brief sent to qualified consultants.
Investigations will now be done into the coastal processes involved in the construction and operation of the proposed ocean pool.
Ballina Shire councillor and Ocean Pool Committee member, Jeff Johnson, said the assessment will include impacts of wave action on the pool, possible changes to sediment movement in the area, water quality inside the pool, wave overtopping behaviour and pool flushing.
"The purpose of the report will be to provide an understanding of the performance and behaviour of an ocean pool at Shelly Beach, and the impact, if any, on the ocean processes nearby,” he said.
"This will help in the assessment of how well an ocean pool at Shelly Beach will work and will influence the final design chosen.”
"The Ballina Ocean Pool Committee has been putting this brief together for some time now and it is the culmination of lots of preliminary research.”
The marine ecology on the Shelly Beach rock shelf is also being assessed to see whether the pool can provide an enhanced environment for the existing flora and fauna.
These studies are being undertaken by Professor Peter Harrison and the Marine Ecology Department at Southern Cross University.
"Our intention all along was to design an ocean pool that is interactive with the ocean and has minimal ongoing maintenance,” Cr Johnson said.
"Those two elements will form a key part in the final design.”
Local structural engineer and Ballina Ocean Pool Committee member, Peter Lucena, has been working on the design brief in conjunction with internationally renowned coastal engineer, Doug Lord, who has been providing assistance on a voluntary basis.