Following on from the concerns raised in The Beagle by Surfside resident Mr Viv Sethi that the “beach nourishment” berm at Surfside was backing up the creek to the point of potential flooding of the area it was noticed that Council staff attended the site on late Thursday afternoon and by Friday morning the 1.3m high berm restricting the water from escaping into the Clyde River was open. Of interest was the fact that Mr Sethi noticed Council staff at the location first thing Friday taking photos highlighting to him that they must have had foreknowledge of the opening overnight that could only have been forced as there was no rain. “If anyone else dug a channel through the sand they would be heavily fined” said Mr Sethi. “This action to open the berm following all the recent publicity is …. surprising.” “They might have hoped the opening would remove all the evidence but from what everyone can now see is that the creek opening has scoured its path leaving the cross section profile as evidence of just how high the berm was”. There was no evidence of any machinery so it is assumed by Mr Sethi and other locals that the berm wall of deposited sand was opened by hand. The berm (or sand dam wall) was created when truckloads of sand were relocated in December from the dredging piles at Hanging Rock to Surfside beach resulting in a berm of 1.3m. Mr Sethi has been trying to establish exactly who ordered the truckloads of sand to be moved from Hanging Rock to Surfside to be dumped well above the highwater mark in such a way as to prohibit the Timabara Creek outlet to flow naturally.
Above: Mr Sethi on the Clyde River side of the sand "dam wall" inhibiting the back up of water in Timabara Creek from naturally flowing - now open the height of the wall is apparent to passers by in the cross section profile left by the scouring of the water finally discharging
In recent rains the level of water in the creek has risen to a height that Mr Sethi feels may have impacted on the sewerage pumping station adjacent to the creek. Mr Sethi and an adjacent neighbor noticed a disturbing “fish kill” yesterday with many fish floating dead in the creek and a very strong smell of sewerage in the air. They also noticed that the level of the creek appeared to be up to the level of the sewer pump station lid. It is understood that a Council environmental officer and EPA inspectors from Queanbeyan have been called to the creek to test the water for E.coli as the creek runs into the Clyde River, a primary oyster growing area. Mr Sethi was following up on recent advice from the EPA that all fish kills should be reported straight away to the EPA. Mr Sethi has advised The Beagle that an EPA officer he met had agreed that his reporting of the fish kill was the right thing to do. It is still unknown under whose authority the Surfside sand dam walls were buit, or by whose order the sand was moved by truck from the dredging spoils at Hanging rock to Surfside, nor who actually was responsible for the design of the walls or overseeing the works let alone who authorized the expenditure and how it was justified. It is also not known why Council waited for the creek to back up to such an extent as to threaten local flooding however, with such questions Mr Sethi has undertaken the task of getting to the bottom of it all and providing his information to Beagle readers shortly.
Above: previous footage filmed by Mr Sethi that clearly shows the "dam wall" of sand inhibiting the escape of the creek water