As part of the ongoing communication and interaction on local issues, the Manly Community Forum attended the first of the quarterly North Head WRRF (sewage treatment plant) Community Reference Group (CRG) meetings last month. Along with other members of the community, the MCF were treated to an afternoon presentation by the new Facility Manager.
The presentation ran through the day to day operation of the second largest waste water treatment plant in Sydney. The North Head facility processes about 350 million litres of water each day, from as far as Rouse Hill out west and Narrabeen in the North. It has the capacity to hold an additional 300 million litres of water in the North Side Storage (NSS) for later processing during times of heavy rain. The facility generates up to 60% of its own electricity requirements through hydro and co-gen gas produced on site. The presentation took us through the upgrade of the biosolids project which is to increase the bio solids output and remove more solids from the wastewater treated to meet increasing demand as the Sydney population increases. This will mean more trucks travelling to and from the plant. They are in the process of building two new large-scale digesters, which include new capabilities to co-generate electricity to supply the facility.
This project is going to ramp up as more construction workers are on site (upwards of 150 per day), along with many extra truck movements delivering materials needed for this project. The project is set for completion June 24. Concerns were shared about increasing traffic and truck movements and driver behaviours up and down Darley Road and through Manly village. Daily truck movements in and out of the facility were discussed and again efforts to keep these to speed limits and operational hours. Concern was expressed about the persistent speeding cars and trucks heading to the plant outside of the stated construction hours, as well as noise impacts on residents. The Plant Manager agreed to consider installing speed monitors on Darley Rd to moderate speeding and stated that Bluefish Road from the top of Darley to the Sydney Water will be resurfaced soon.
The MCF will continue to meet at the NHWRRF each 3 months. to engage and get a better understanding of how this essential facility operates and coexists with the local Manly community.