The Berowra and District Community Association (BDCA) has had an interesting meeting with representatives from the EPA who had come to discuss Hornsby’s Treatment Plants and pollution in  Berowra Waters. As is often the case with these presentations there were a few problems with the electronics. At the same time this meeting was on,  another meeting was being run by NorthConnex  at the  Berowra RSL.

The EPA team proposes that they will recommend a reduction in the amount of waste water and pollutants discharged into Berowra Creek. That includes reducing not only the average pollutants that is published, but also the high level ones that are ignored when the published figures show an average.    

It was pointed out that their own figures showed there was often high pollution in the river and not just in time of high rainfall, and the measure of the pollutants did not meet recommended standards. It was also pointed out that other sewer treatment plants were superior to the ones in Hornsby due to extra processing, diverting and reusing waste water and nutrients, and having chlorine and filtration processes.

The question was asked that if the readings of pollution that has been publicly recorded at Crosslands or Berowra Waters (tabled at the meeting) was instead at a Sydney beach, would it remain open? And the answer was no, it would be closed. If it’s too dirty for beaches then it should be too dirty for Berowra – and signs should be put up along the river to tell people to avoid going in or drinking it.

The signage was discussed and deemed to be inadequate as many people don’t know about not going in the water after rain periods, and what is the measurement of a rain period?  There was also discussion between the EPA and BDCA about different standards between the EPA and Department of Health  relating to management of diseases and pathogens as a result of being exposed to pollutants such as those found in Berowra Creek.

The EPA took many of the questions on notice and will responded at a later date. Overall the feeling was that the $4.8m treatment plant’s upgrade is welcome, as is the proposed pollution reductions. But we need standards equal to beach watch, better filtration and chlorination – and large decreases in nutrients and waste water entering Berowra Waters.

There was also brief discussion about council amalgamations, the Business Plan for the Berowra Pool and the interviews with schools and local clubs and organisation relating to Berowra Pool. Some members were sceptical and suggested Hornsby Council was just stalling and had no intention of building it despite all the various reports, including their own that have recomended it.

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