Byron Shire Recycled Water Scheme One of State’s Leaders

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Photo: Geoff Bensley.

BYRON SHIRE Council enters 2018 as one of the State’s leaders in effluent management. While it’s not normally something that gets talked about in the Byron Shire, what’s happening is pretty impressive.

Recycled water is now being pumped into a lot of places in Byron Bay including public toilets as part of the Byron Bay Urban Recycled Water Scheme (BBURWS).

The BBURWS is designed to turn treated waste water into a valuable resource that is able to be reused in a variety of ways said Peter Rees, Byron Shire Council’s Manager of Utilities.

“If you are a regular user of the Byron Bay Golf Course you will be pleased to know that around one fifth of the effluent produced in the town every year is treated and then used by the Golf Club to irrigate around 20 hectares of fairways, tees, greens, gardens, ponds and wetlands,” Mr Rees said.

“This means that precious drinking water and ground water are preserved which is important to our environmentally-conscious community,” he said.

“The golf course uses approximately 70 megalitres of treated effluent a year, or 70 million litres which is equivalent to 28 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

“Most sporting fields and nurseries in Byron Bay also used recycled water for irrigation, and every time a tourist flushes a public toilet in the town centre, recycled water is being used,” Mr Rees said.

The Byron Bay Urban Recycled Water Scheme is currently at 70% use.

“We have a number of businesses including hotels, apartments and caravan parks who have signed up to the scheme and once they are online we will be at 100 per cent capacity,” Mr Rees said.

“This means that all of the waste water from toilets and showers in Byron Bay is being treated to an incredibly high level and being reused.

“It’s a great outcome for the people who are using it because recycled water is much cheaper to buy and it’s a win for the environment,” Mr Rees said.

“15 years ago it would have been discharged into rivers and the ocean but today it is a highly sought-after resource,” he said.

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