Excess treated effluent pumped on to Merimbula beach following heavy rain

Excess treated effluent will be pumped on to the beach at Merimbula following heavier than usual rainfall in recent days.

The ocean outfall pipe on Merimbula beach.

The ocean outfall pipe on Merimbula beach.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has granted council permission to discharge excess treated effluent from the Merimbula Sewage Treatment Plant from the outfall on to the beach as a result of an unusually large amount of rainwater entering the sewer system.

The discharge will take place today and tonight (Tuesday, July 28).

Council said normally any ocean outfall is managed during a few hours in the evenings under regulated licence conditions.

"However, the current rain event means our treatment plant operator must pump for more hours to ensure the wet weather storage pond doesn't overflow into Merimbula Lake.

"The EPA-required ocean outfall project will eliminate this public health risk permanently once constructed.

"All effluent is fully treated and complies with effluent standards. We recommend that members of the public stay clear of the outfall and avoid coming into contact with the treated effluent discharge."