After 16 years of planning, Yamba residents could probably hear the collective sigh of relief from engineers and workers as one of the most significant pieces of infrastructure in the Yamba sewerage augmentation scheme slid into place without a hitch last week.
On Monday contractors and Clarence Valley Council staff dragged a single 1.65km length of 500mm polyethylene from the Iluka Golf Course, through the streets of Iluka and into the Clarence River. From there it was floated out to the middle of the river and on Tuesday was pulled through a tunnel which had been drilled under the river to Yamba where it will join a subterranean pipeline from the Yamba sewerage treatment plant.
The pipe is an essential piece of the Yamba sewerage augmentation, but will only be used during periods of high rainfall and, even then, only during ebb (outgoing) tides. Recycled water from the sewerage plant will be treated to the highest standards and will normally be used to irrigate sporting fields. It is only when those sporting fields are waterlogged from rainfall and the tide is running out that recycled water will be released into the river.
Clarence Valley Mayor, Richie Williamson, said an augmented sewerage scheme was an essential piece of infrastructure for Yamba.
“Yamba has a population of around 6000, and that probably trebles in peak periods, so we needed a sewerage scheme to cope with those sort of numbers and future growth,” he said.
“We will soon have it.”
Council water cycle manager, Greg Mashiah, said planning for the current
sewerage augmentation started in 1999
when the then Maclean Council appointed the Yamba Recycled Water Management Committee.
“The scheme was approved in 2005 through an environmental impact statement, which determined that an ebb-tide release was the preferred way to environmentally release recycled water unable to be beneficially reused,” he said.
“The scheme includes recycled water reuse on the golf course and possible future reuse on the Angourie Road
sporting fields, Yamba Public School, Yamba Oval and Yamba Bowling Club.
“The pipeline length drilled from Yamba
Road to the release point is 1650 metres. We understand this is among the longest drills undertaken in Australia for a pipeline of this diameter.
“The pipeline was drilled mainly at a depth of 47 metres.
“The pipe stretched during installation, but will relax back to its original length over time.”