Refresh Vaucluse and Diamond Bay

Ending the flow of untreated wastewater

We're committed to delivering a permanent long-term solution to managing the last remaining untreated wastewater ocean outfalls in NSW at Vaucluse, Dover Heights and Diamond Bay. The Refresh Vaucluse Diamond Bay project will ensure that all wastewater is treated at the Bondi Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility.


Below the cliffs of Vaucluse and Diamond Bay, wastewater flows directly into the ocean untreated.

It’s time for change and we’re continuing to work to ensure this iconic area of Sydney gets the clean, blue backyard it deserves. Under the Refresh Vaucluse Diamond Bay project we are building new infrastructure to divert the flows from the last three remaining ocean outfalls in Sydney to the Bondi Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF).

In 2020, we released a Review of Environmental Factors report that looked at the benefits and impacts of decommissioning the ocean outfalls in favour of replacing the outdated wastewater system with new and existing wastewater pipelines and constructing two new pump stations at Parsley Bay and Eastern Reserve. This solution will take wastewater to the Bondi Water Resource Recovery Facility for treatment.

Since 2020, we have modified the design of both pump stations in response to community interest. We have also worked hard to preserve and protect the unique environment in the area.

In 2024, we will start construction of the pump station in Parsley Bay and we are currently working through the design of the pump station and infrastructure at Eastern Reserve to collect wastewater more efficiently from surrounding suburbs.

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

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

From 1 July 2023, all residential customers pay $1.19 a year to fund this program. Business customers will pay different amounts depending on the property’s meter size connection and discharge factor. This amount is included in the wastewater service charge

Elevation view of the new pumping station at Parsley Bay.


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

A legacy of Sydney's early network, wastewater from the peninsula isn't treated. Instead, it flows directly into the ocean at 3 locations via ocean outfalls. These outfalls, which were built between 1916 and 1936, are located at the bottom of the cliffs at Vaucluse, Diamond Bay and Dover Heights, and discharge into a largely inaccessible part of the coastline.

While these are the last remaining untreated discharges in Sydney Water's system, water quality at nearby swimming beaches (including Bondi) remains 'good' or 'very good' based on regular Beachwatch monitoring.

In 2018, Sydney Water released a Pollution Study Report, Vaucluse Diamond Bay Ocean Discharges (2.2MB), in response to the NSW Environmental Protection Authority's Pollution Reduction Program. As a result of the study, we recommended people avoid fishing, swimming or coming into contact with water near the 3 outfalls while we work towards delivering a modern and long-term solution.

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