Flood debris and pollution fears at new subdivision

DEBRIS: Flooding at Bloomfield in May 2007 destroyed a new fence.

DEBRIS: Flooding at Bloomfield in May 2007 destroyed a new fence.

RESIDENT Sig Sovik says concern has been expressed to Oberon Council about the proposed subdivision at 175 Titania Road and the effects of stormwater events and pollution. 

The response has been that Oberon Council will ensure, via its hydrological investigations, that there is no degradation in water quality nor adverse impacts of flows across its boundaries.

Mr Sovik does not believe council can deliver this. 

"Stormwater events will happen,” he said.

He said the photo at top was taken on May 19, 2007 after 48mm of rain fell on May 18, 2007. 

"It shows the result of flooding from the intended subdivision onto neighbouring Bloomfield and the amount of surface debris washed off the ground and indicates the force and volume of water. It was sufficient to overturn what was then a new fence.”

The other photograph is from the Oberon Review issue of May 24, 2007.

RAGING: This picture of flash flooding appeared in the Oberon Review in May 2007.

RAGING: This picture of flash flooding appeared in the Oberon Review in May 2007.

“This caught the actual storm on May 18 and was taken in Oberon. Fifty-plus millimetres of rain in a day is not unusual in Oberon.”

Mr Sovik said with the proposed 43 new homes with sheds, water tanks and access roads, all the hard surfaces cannot but exacerbate flood events, with rubbish, grime, pesticides and chemicals washing on to Bloomfield, Ferndale and neighbouring farms and affecting livestock, farm crops and rare flora and fauna. 

"Biosecurity legislation places stringent demands on all farms to preserve water quality, prevent spray residues, control weeds and a range of other matters. With stormwater flooding across boundaries from this subdivision, the negative impact on farms is unacceptable,” he said.

"This subdivision will look like a suburb but have none of the infrastructure. It will not be kerbed and guttered with stormwater drains, nor have reticulated water nor town sewerage. Neighbours will bear all of the run-off."

Mr Sovik said that Bloomfield dams are home not only to trout, but also platypus. 

"The Duckmaloi River runs through Bloomfield and is also home to the platypus which is of special value to the Tablelands. 

"Over many years, the cumulative effects of developments in the catchment area have all been negative for the platypus; this latest proposal adds to that accumulation. 

"We see that other R5 subdivisions deploy five hectares or larger lots. These have the benefits that hard surfaces as a percentage of the land area remain small and have a less aggravating impact on the severity of stormwater events. 

"Also, it materially reduces the risk of adverse effects from pollution on neighbours as it provides a margin of safety that should be part of any R5 development on un-serviced and undrained land."