What is the Additional Flow Path?

    A drainage upgrade project to better manage  treated water from the Byron STP and stormwater flows within the Belongil Catchment.  

    The proposed flow path is a sustainable and versatile addition to the current flow path. 

    The proposed additional flow path will use public drainage land within the Byron Arts and Industry Estate. New pipeline will be required from the Byron STP to the Industrial Drain.

    What are the benefits of this project?

    The Additional Flow Path will bring improved social and recreational benefits through the Byron Arts and Industry Estate with more green areas, including a new shaded pathway/cycleway, pedestrian bridge and water sensitive urban design landscaping.

    More broadly, the project will:

    • Reduce the constant flows of treated water through the western Union Drain to reduce risk to soil and farmland;
    • Improve water quality within the Belongil Catchment through water sensitive urban design, which further treats water flows and reduces nutrient concentrations before entering Belongil Creek;
    • Use an existing drainway which offers an opportunity to improve stormwater quality (with highly treated water) and minimise cost; 
    • Improve pedestrian/cycle movements within the Byron Arts and Industry Estate, encouraging more passing trade for businesses with the construction of new shaded and landscaped pathways and a pedestrian bridge;
    • Provide new green areas for the community and local fauna as well as providing a buffer for flooding events; and
    • Align with the Byron Arts & Industry Estate Precinct Plan.

    Where is it?

    The Additional Flow Path extends from the Byron Bay Wetlands (at the Byron STP), diagonally south-east across to the existing Byron Industrial Estate drain.

    This drain rejoins the Central Drain on the southern side of Ewingsdale Road and eventually enters the southern end of Belongil Creek.

    The Additional Flow Path is over 2.3km in length. 

    It uses existing public drainage land and takes advantage of an existing drainway.

    What is the current flow path and why do we need an additional one?

    The current flow path travels from the Byron Bay Wetlands (at the Byron STP) via the western Union Drain, which extends west towards farmland. 

    The Additional Flow Path offers an additional drainway so that Council can better manage the treated water and stormwater flows within the Belongil Catchment.

    Union DrainUnion DrainUnion DrainUnion Drain

    Will there be raw sewage flowing through an open drain?

    No. Treated water from the Byron STP is waste water that has been highly treated and meets strict Australian requirements. 

    After the sewage treatment plant, a secondary natural filtration process occurs via a wetlands area (Byron Bay Wetlands) before the treated water is released into the Additional Flow Path. 

    The Byron Bay Wetlands is an award winning constructed wetlands adjacent to the STP that minimises the impact of the sewage treatment plant on the surrounding ecosystems. 

    Water sensitive urban design landscaping will also act as an additional filtration system by further treating water flows and reducing nutrient concentrations before entering the Belongil Creek. 

    Will there be any odours?

    The Additional Flow Path is not expected to increase odours in the Byron Arts & Industry Estate area as the water has been highly treated and is continually flowing.  

    Is there any health risk to the public from this drainway?

    The risk is comparable to that of an open stormwater drain. Entry to open drains is not recommended. 

    Does the flow path go directly into the Belongil Creek?

    The current flow path enters the southern end of Belongil Creek. There will be no change to the current entry point. 

    The new path splits from the current path at the STP and rejoins the existing path close to the entry point at Belongil Creek.

    Will it increase flood risk to the Byron Arts & Industry Estate?

    No. The Additional Flow Path has been designed to reduce flood risk by splitting the flow and improving management of the drainage system.

    During rain events, when the water level reaches a set level in the new drainway,
    the flow will be redirected back through the existing path (western Union Drain) until the water level subsides. 

    Level sensors will be installed, allowing real time monitoring of the wetlands, the western Union Drain water levels and pH levels.

    How will water sensitive urban design help?

    Water sensitive urban design is not just about beautification. This landscaping style is purposeful and strategic and helps treat water flows and reduce nutrient concentrations. It is feasible for areas where it will improve water quality being discharged into the Belongil Creek.

    Examples of water sensitive urban design that capture, repurpose and slow the flow of water.

    How much will it cost?

    Total construction cost is approximately M$1.5 and will be funded by Council's Sewerage Fund Capital Works Reserve. 

    This is an important project for Council and the community that offers a long term and adaptable solution for the management of treated water from the Byron STP and stormwater flows in the Belongil Catchment.

    What impacts will there be for businesses and residents in the Byron Arts & Industry Estate?

    A new pipeline will be required from the Byron STP to the Industrial Drain. 

    As construction work will be required, Council will be engaging with adjacent businesses. There may be temporary disruption to traffic in the local area while works are in progress. 

    The works are aligned with the Byron Arts & Industry Precinct Plan and will improve pedestrian and cycle movements within the Estate.

    Is Council looking at any other solutions for water re-use?


    In Byron Bay recycled water is currently used for:

    • Toilet flushing at public toilet blocks in the Byron Bay town centre and some sporting clubs;
    • Irrigation of sporting fields, parks and gardens;
    • Irrigation of plants at plant nurseries; and
    • Truck filling standpipes for construction applications and dust suppression.

    Council remains open to alternative treated water re-use options. 

    More information about recycled water can be found here: https://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/Services/Water-sewer/Sewer/Recycled-water

    Who are the other stakeholders in this project?

    Council is engaging with local Aboriginal Traditional Custodians, the Arakwal People of Byron Bay and will report regularly on any changes to the sensitive Belongil Catchment area.

    Other stakeholders include: Belongil Catchment Drainage Board, Coastal Estuary Catchment Panel, Water, Waste and Sewer Committee, NSW Environment Protection Authority, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Byron Arts & Industry Estate businesses and residents, and the Byron Shire community.

    How can I find out more about this project?

    This project is currently in the detailed design and tender stage. 

    Community can ask a Question in the Q&A tab.