The site of the former South Byron Sewage Treatment Plant at Suffolk Park.
The site of the former South Byron Sewage Treatment Plant at Suffolk Park. Contributed Google Maps

Former sewage treatment plant to get new lease of life

REMEDIAL works will commence at the former South Byron Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) in order to be able to develop the facility into something new.

Byron Shire Council will commence remediation works this week at the Suffolk Park location, which will involve excavating and capping soils and contaminated material in a consolidated buffer zone and planting a nature corridor on the site to make it safe for potential future redevelopment and use.

The works are expected to take a year to complete.

"This site has a very interesting history having hosted night cart operations from 1909 until 1972 when the STP was built and began operations," Council's assets and major projects manager Phil Warner said.

Mr Warner said the plant was eventually decommissioned in 2005 when the new Byron Bay STP was completed, with Council demolishing the facilities in 2017.

"You can imagine the range of historical soil contamination issues present due to former STP operations, night cart disposal activities as well as general building waste disposal and this is what our remediation works will now address," Mr Warner said.

"Another positive is that our remediation plan avoids any impact or changes to the two sewage treatment ponds at the eastern end of the site that are valued by the community as bird habitat."

He said the safety fencing will remain in place as usual as the effluent ponds are not safe for swimming.

"In addition, the current public access paths that the local community uses to access the beach and take their dogs for a walk will not be affected by the remediation works," Mr Warner said.

The remediation work is expected to be finished by the end of 2019, which will enable Council to progress its proposal to retain the 7.76 hectare site as an asset for the community.

Last year Council conducted an Expression of Interest (EoI) process seeking concepts for potential future uses of the site that could also deliver a range of environmental, social and economic benefits and outcomes for the community.

"One of Council's key requirements is for the public access way connecting the community to the beach from Broken Head Road," Mr Warner said.

"The provision of public open space for community and environmental benefit is also required as a key element of all proposals."

The next stage of the Expression of Interest process will be progressed in coming weeks.

For more information call Mr Warner on 6626 7000.



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