Scum on Tweed Coast beaches is marine organic matter.
Scum on Tweed Coast beaches is marine organic matter.

No grain of truth that beach scum is what it smells like

TWEED Shire Council has assured the public the unsightly, smelly scum on the coastline’s beaches is naturally occurring marine organic material, not sewage or wastewater effluent.

Water and wastewater operations manager Brie Jowett said it was a natural phenomenon and has nothing to do with the council’s wastewater treatment processes or sewers.

The council tested samples of the scum taken from the beaches at its Tweed Laboratory Centre after calls from residents and confirmed it is organic matter.

Ms Jowett said the council operates its wastewater plants, which treat raw sewage, under strict Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) licences and treats it a tertiary standard with disinfection.

This produces a very high quality effluent that can be reused or recycled and safely discharged to the environment.

“The EPA licences have conditions and we constantly monitor our treatment processes and the discharge of treated effluent to our waterways. Any non-compliance is reportable and council can be fined,” Ms Jowett said.

“The scum reported on these beaches is from marine organic material not sewage or wastewater effluent.”


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