Improving our wastewater systems

Projects to make our wastewater systems work better

Maintaining and upgrading Greater Sydney's wastewater systems is an important part of how we help protect public health and the environment across Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra. Whether it's our pipes, pumping stations or water resource recovery facilities, we have a range of ongoing projects in place.

Maintenance Hole Inspection Program

Our wastewater network assets can be anywhere: under a road, in your backyard, in the heart of bushland and near waterways. They're often in environmentally sensitive areas.

So, rather than reacting to wastewater overflows after they happen, this program allows our Environmental Inspection Team to seek out and solve potential issues. The team captures valuable information on the condition of our assets and pipes.

This allows us to identify vulnerable assets and plan ongoing prevention programs. These include:

  • cleaning roots, obstructions and debris out of pipes
  • installing early-warning devices for blockages in maintenance holes
  • repairing and rebuilding maintenance holes wastewater pipes
  • relining wastewater pipes.

If you see an Environmental Inspection Team in your area
They're working to keep you safe. They'll ask your permission if they need access to a maintenance hole on your property. If you're not at home, they'll leave a calling card to arrange a suitable time.

Repairing and replacing pipes

We continually check our wastewater assets to keep them in good condition. The aim is to improve the reliability of our wastewater systems by repairing or replacing wastewater pipes that are in poor condition. We also install new pipes to increase the network's wastewater capacity. Specific programs are in place throughout Greater Sydney.

We repair or replace small sections of cracked, collapsed or damaged wastewater pipes across our network throughout Sydney, and complete thousands of jobs each year. Find out more about our Network Repairs Program.

We're upgrading lengths of our wastewater and stormwater pipes throughout Greater Sydney. This work helps prevent leaks in pipes for the next 50 years.

This work includes:

  • relining small wastewater pipes (up to 300 mm diameter)
  • relining large wastewater pipes (up to 900 mm diameter)
  • rehabilitating junctions in the wastewater pipe network
  • inspecting and repairing maintenance holes
  • cleaning wastewater and stormwater pipes
  • using CCTV to inspect wastewater and stormwater pipes before and after the work.

Each project takes about 4 weeks to complete. Specialist crews usually need to make several visits to affected properties.

This work is part of our SewerFix Program to improve the wastewater and stormwater systems and protect public health and the environment. To find out more, call us on 02 8849 6444 or write to Sydney Water, Community Relations – SewerFix, PO Box 399, Parramatta NSW 2124.

Installing liners in wastewater pipes to help prevent overflows.

Preventing wastewater overflows

When the wastewater network is blocked or reaches capacity in heavy rain, water can overflow into the local environment or on private properties. Our programs include removing blockages from pipes and building infrastructure or installing new pipes to convey excess wastewater flows when needed. This helps to:

  • stop uncontrolled wastewater overflows
  • protect public health
  • protect the environment.

This program is helping us fix wastewater (sewage) surcharges at private properties in all areas of Greater Sydney.

Key locations include Banksia, Baulkham Hills, Beverly Hills, Castle Hill, Concord, Drummoyne, Ermington, Fairfield East, Freshwater, Kogarah, Mosman, Putney, Quakers Hill, Seven Hills, West Pennant Hills, West Ryde, Wollongong and Woronora.

This work is part of our SewerFix Program to improve the wastewater and stormwater systems and protect public health and the environment. To find out more, call us on 02 8849 6444 or write to Sydney Water, Community Relations – SewerFix, PO Box 399, Parramatta NSW 2124.

You can help us prevent overflows
Everyone can play a part in preventing wastewater overflows and keeping wastewater pipes and assets clearer for longer. Find out what you need to know to stay safe.

Wastewater pumping stations

Wastewater pumping stations move wastewater flows uphill, where gravity is not effective in transporting wastewater through the network. We build, modify or repair our wastewater pumping stations to help the wastewater network operate efficiently.

Water resource recovery facilities

We treat wastewater from homes, businesses and industry to a high level at our water resource recovery facilities. Our water resource recovery facility improvement program helps increase our facilities' performance and reliability. This includes minimising odours and expanding the capacity of our treatment plants to service the growing population.

We've been looking at alternative ways to manage the recycled water we produce at our Picton Water Resource Recovery Facility and expand the Picton Wastewater Scheme.

We're also improving the odour management system at our North Head Water Resource Recovery Facility.

We're working at Malabar Water Resource Recovery Facility to:

  • improve the reliability of the processes that treat wastewater (sewage)
  • reduce operating costs
  • improve the quality of the biosolids we produce
  • improve safety and working conditions
  • ensure we continue to comply with our environment protection licence requirements into the future.

Our work to improve existing infrastructure above and below ground at the facility includes replacing or upgrading:

  • screenings collection, transfer and handling processes
  • grit capture, dewatering and out loading processes
  • raw wastewater pumps
  • sludge and scum collection systems
  • sludge digestion and biosolids handling and transfer systems
  • overall control system and other electrical equipment
  • water delivery infrastructure, compressed air, recycled water and underground ventilation systems.

We'll also remove equipment that's no longer required, and landscape the site.

This work is being delivered by 4Malabar, an alliance between Sydney Water, John Holland, UGL Engineering and GHD.

Learn more about the facility from Our community update, or email

Malabar Water Resource Recovery Facility.

Have your say about our projects
Visit Sydney Water Talk to learn more about our projects and provide feedback.