‘No evidence’ of sewage river concerns

Headshot of Sarah Ison
Sarah IsonBusselton Dunsborough Times

Geocatch has denied sewage is running off into the Vasse River after residents posed concerns at the organisation’s most recent update.

Responding to questions at the November 24 meeting on whether Geocatch was monitoring any sewage leaking into the river, Department of Water and Environment Regulation district manager Kath Lynch said “there was no such evidence” when the issue was raised at the November 24 meeting.

Dr Lynch later told the Times while no sewage run-off directly entered the river, treated wastewater from the Busselton Wastewater Treatment Plant was discharged into the Vasse diversion drain under the correct licence.

“The wastewater has been treated to a level sufficient to be discharged to the environment,” she said.

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“Wastewater is 99.7 per cent water as it comes mostly from showers, baths and washing machines.”

Dr Lynch said modelling showed discharging more recycled wastewater into the Lower Vasse River could potentially improve water quality and increase summer flow, but “further investigation would be required to assess any health issues, community concerns and if this is the best use of the recycled water”.

Geocatch Update Attendees were also asked about interested in soil amendments to the Vasse Oval and were curious whether the same initiatives would be applied to the Dunsborough Oval.

Dr Lynch said the trial of iron man gypsum soil trial to reduce phosphorous as a soil additive investigated means of reducing phosphorus and, depending on its results, could potentially be applied elsewhere.

“Iron man gypsum has numerous potential applications, from helping protect waterways from redeveloped farmlands, to reducing use of fertilisers for turf by helping retain them longer in the soil rather than washing away shortly after application,” she said.

“Following the results of the trial, the City may consider the use of soil amendments in its management of the Dunsborough Oval if it provides a benefit to do so.”

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