Local community group working with Sydney Water to find solution to outfalls at Vaucluse Diamond Bay

Media release

16 August 2018

Sydney Water today said a community reference group looking at options for a long-term solution for three untreated wastewater outfalls at Vaucluse and Diamond Bay was making good progress.

The reference group, made up of 12 local residents, was formed by Sydney Water and has met regularly to ensure community values are included in the decision-making process.

Sydney Water Managing Director Kevin Young said there is greater community awareness of these untreated discharges and agrees we can do better.

'It’s important that we find a solution that will stop our wastewater being pumped directly into the ocean,' Mr Young said.

'The group has made excellent progress considering broad options to divert the wastewater from Vaucluse Diamond Bay to Bondi’s treatment plant where it can be treated before being safely released back into the environment.'

'This community deliberation is critical to Sydney Water selecting a technical solution to these outfalls.'

'According to our program, Sydney Water will select a technical solution to these outfalls by November 2018,' Mr Young said.

Sydney Water’s General Manager Liveable City Solutions, Paul Plowman, says while the State of the Beaches Report 2016–17 shows that recreational beaches near Vaucluse and Diamond Bay outfalls continue to have good or very good water quality, Sydney Water is focused on providing a lasting outcome for the area.

'These three outfalls are a legacy from Sydney’s early wastewater network, and while there’s no easy way to fix them, we take our responsibility to protect the environment and public health very seriously.' 

'Whatever the technical solution, Sydney Water is committed to working closely with the local community and stakeholders to ensure their views are considered.'

The Environment Protection Authority licenses the discharges from three outfalls at Vaucluse and Diamond Bay as part of a system that’s been operating for more than 100 years.