LAST WEEK TO COMMENT & ACTION NEEDED
CLOSING DATE: WEDNESDAY 28TH OF OCTOBER
WASTEWATER AND WATER – LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN
SIRA’s Water and Wastewater Subcommittee has, with the support of the Northern Beaches Council, now completed the wastewater feasibility study. To move ahead we need support and funding from the state government. Water supply and Waste water schemes are not a matter for councils but for the State Government. In the Sydney area, it is delegated to Sydney Water. There is no commitment from the State government at this stage.
Now is the time. We have the momentum, but we need everyone on the island to help make it happen.
Deadline: 28 October 2020.
What we need you need to do:
1: Take 2 minutes, super easy. Fill in the online survey. We need numbers, so get everyone in your household to fill it out. The more the better. Three simple questions. Click on the link here.
2. Write and email to the Minister for Water (The Hon. Melinda Pavey) and cc The Hon. Robert Stokes (as local minister and as minister for planning) and the Northern Beaches Councillors, stating why we need reticulated water and wastewater services (suggestions below).
The Hon. Melinda Pavey MP – Minister for Water
GPO Box 5341
SYDNEY NSW 2001
The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP
GPO Box 5341
SYDNEY NSW 2001
1725 Pittwater Road
MONA VALE NSW 2103
Northern Beaches Council
P.O. Box 82,
Build your letter around your experience and explain why you are advocating for it. The economic aspect of it won’t be a strong argument, the best arguments will be around public health (swimming, use of garden, smell, increase mosquito population), fire safety, environment (subsurface ponding or leaks, plants/tree health), equity with the rest of Sydney in accessing reliable water supply and accessing sewerage services. Write in your own words why it needs to happen. Consider the benefits to the wider community, to the island and your family.
1. Public health.
Water pollution in the Pittwater Estuary after heavy rain – Of concern for swimmers and the boating public
Soil contamination – Waterlogged soils can be dangerously polluted from wastewater infiltration and runoff at levels thousands of times higher than those recommended as safe. On site sewerage systems currently in use result in water ponding, subsurface flows and release of treated effluent (unsuited soils profile)Reference – https://www.scotlandisland.org.au/sira/scotland-island-sewerage/
Smell – some level of smell can be observed from many sewers or treated effluent releases.
2. Fire Safety – We are in a bushfire prone area. We have no reticulated water and therefore no fire hydrants. Without ready access to water we cannot fight fires.
3. Mosquito populations – Mosquitoes thrive in the wet environments created by on-site sewerage systems and ponding /release of water. Apart from the need to use a lot of mosquito repellent, there is a risk to human health from mosquito-borne diseases. ( Ross River virus and and Port Macquarie, Barmah Forest virus have been detected by NSW Health in mosquitoes trapped in Sydney Northern Beaches.
Reference – https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/pests/vector/Publications/nswasp-weekly-report-2020-04-24.pdf
4. Environment – Changes to soil moisture and nutrients are a threat to the endangered ecological community listed as the Pittwater and Wagstaffe Spotted Gum Forest that is recognised in the Sydney Basin Bioregion and well represented on Scotland Island.
5. Cost – The Water and Wastewater Feasibility Study has estimated the cost of works to be much lower than previously estimated by Sydney Water (69 millions) and in the same order of what delivered to Dangar Island.
Make your communication personal and include details. I.e. Have you lost trees, been unable to swim, forbidden child’s play in water logged soil after rain or suffered any health consequences from the polluted soil and water? Consider sending a copy to SIRA so we can collate the responses in our ongoing efforts.
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN.