A HUGE round of applause to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s water and sewage workers.
After a tour last week of the newly upgraded sewage treatment plant the Camden Haven Courier developed a strong appreciation of the work these people do dealing with our?waste.
The upgrade is a $13 million investment in the future growth of the Camden Haven, by the council.
Administrator Neil Porter said the project was a collaboration between the council, Tenix and the Department of Public Works.
“The upgrade increases the capacity for the plant to cope with current and future requirements,” Mr Porter said.
“It also increases the quality of effluent discharged onto Diamond Head Beach, which is now of equal quality to the water used to irrigate agricultural land and parks.”
Mr Porter said the improvement will cope with the estimated growth of the Camden Haven for the next 10 to 15 years. There are plans in the rolling capital works program for another upgrade after that time.
The upgraded plant uses the latest technology to refine waste and eliminate bacteria and any other nasties before it is discharged.
Much of the solid material is transported to Remondis where heat further eliminates any nasty bugs and it is mixed in with the compost produced there.
“This system is more secure and mindful of the environment,” Mr Porter said.
The council’s water and sewer process manager Clayton Miechel gave the six interested locals a tour of the facility, explaining the technical details of the processing.
For the Camden Haven Courier, the tour was “a bit wiffy” but we were assured the aroma had improved greatly since the new system came online.
“The difference between what comes out now and before is like chalk and cheese,” Mr Miechel said.
While the reference to food made the Courier’s stomach churn, we continued on undeterred.
Ken Strong from the Department of Public Works held up a jar containing a sample of what is being produced at the plant and being discharged onto the beach, the water was as clear as what comes from the drinking tap.
One resident on the tour remarked that the improvement in discharge was dramatic.
“I used to take photos of what came out before because at times you could see it all over the beach,” she said.
So hats off to the people at the council for dealing with our “stuff” and making it an environmental benefit.