Refresh Vaucluse and Diamond Bay

In November 2018, the NSW Government announced its commitment to stop the continuous flow of untreated wastewater from three ocean outfalls at Vaucluse and Diamond Bay.

The Refresh Vaucluse Diamond Bay project will redirect untreated wastewater away from these outfalls and transfer it to the Bondi Wastewater Treatment Plant.

This will address the water quality and public health risks associated with the ocean outfalls.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has approved investment in the Refresh Vaucluse and Diamond Bay project as part of our 2020-24 price review.

As part of the price review process, we asked if our customers would be willing to pay more for particular projects. For this project, the customers involved agreed that they would pay more. 

From 1 July 2020, residential wastewater customers will pay $1.04 a year to fund this project. If you're a non-residential customer, the amount will differ depending on the size of your meter, how many meters you have and your discharge factor. This amount will be included in your wastewater service charge, it will not show separately on the bill. Wastewater service charges are listed on Prices for your home and Prices for your business.

Each year, we’ll report on the progress of this project on this page and through information included with your bill.

Ocean cliff and water below the cliff

Planning work for the project is progressing.

About Refresh Vaucluse and Diamond Bay

We're thankful for the ongoing support we receive from the community as we work together to develop plans to divert Sydney's last three untreated wastewater ocean outfalls to a treatment plant.

In 2018, we established a Community Reference Group to share local values and priorities to guide us as we shaped the preferred solution, connecting the ocean outfalls to existing pipes that run along Old South Head Road to take the wastewater to the Bondi Wastewater Treatment Plant. 

We'll be taking the same community-led approach in developing the concept design. Although we’ve extensively modelled the wastewater system in the area, we now need to better understand the area's topography, soil and site conditions. So, we're conducting geotechnical investigations and surveys as we begin consulting the community on the design. 

We expect construction to start in the latter half of 2020.

We encourage everyone to get involved in the conversation about our plans via our Sydney Water Talk page.

The wastewater system on South Head Peninsula is different to other systems in Sydney.

A legacy from Sydney's early network, wastewater from the peninsula isn't treated. Instead, it flows directly into the ocean at three locations, called 'ocean outfalls'.

These outfalls are located in a largely inaccessible part of the coastline at Vaucluse and Diamond Bay.

The report, Vaucluse Diamond Bay Ocean Discharges, was prepared in response to the NSW Environmental Protection Authority's Pollution Reduction Program.

Based on the information in the pollution study, we recommended that people avoid fishing, swimming or coming into contact with water near the three outfalls while we work towards a solution.

To learn more, contact our Community Relations Team by: