Nature Conservation Council of NSW , Friends of the Earth (Sydney), National Parks Association of NSW , Total Environment Centre, Australian Conservation Foundation

Invite you to a

Community Workshop

to review

WaterPlan 21

The 20 year Waste Water Strategy proposed by Sydney Water


So you missed out in coming to these workshops, well never mind, we would still be interested in hearing your views, please give us a call or send us a note to the address below. Sydney Water are several months late in releasing the official version of WaterPlan21 (now expected by the end of this month) so there is still time for more input from the environmentally aware water user (producer?).

6pm - 9pm

Bookings are essential

Light refreshments are provided

Background. Five independent Environment Groups have been invited by Sydney Water to review proposed waste water directions - WaterPlan 21. Sydney Water wants to have its assumptions critically reviewed to ensure that community expectations are met and environmental protection is a priority.This review follows on from the Sydney Water Project 1994, when four independent groups made over 100 recommendations on water management. These groups are now holding public workshops so YOU can discuss and present your views on wastewater control.

WaterPlan 21

WaterPlan 21 outlines Sydney Water’s long-term strategies for waste water treatment. This plan is Sydney wide and has included water, land and air environmental impacts. The science behind the assumptions is being reviewed by CSIRO.

Rivers. The protection of rivers includes protection of ecosystems, prevention of algal blooms, safe recreation, maintaining flows and accommodating growth. This could be achieved by:

The Georges River suffers from faecal contamination in wet weather and the current capacity of the system will be exceeded within 10 years. The proposal is to maintain Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) in the area and upgrade for non-potable reuse over the next 8 years. Non-potable reuse plants will be established in the Botany Industrial area. Treated effluent not used will be discharged at Malabar outfall.

STPs on the Hawkesbury Nepean River will reduce phosphorus concentrations in effluent discharge to reduce the incidence of algal blooms, 5 plants to <0.05mg/L, the others to <1mg/L. By 2010 effluent will be treated for non-potable reuse and river flow maintenance. By 2020 it is proposed effluent will be treated to a level suitable for potable reuse, although customer acceptance is required.

Plans for reuse

Upgrades of STPs to enable effluent reuse will start with inland STPs, as they already receive higher treatment than coastal STPs

First users for non-potable reused water will be industry and new residential developments

Potable reuse safety will be demonstrated by building and operating a demonstration plant at Quakers Hill

Sydney Water - "Effluent reuse conserves water. It protects the environment by reducing discharge and helps avoid new dams"

Sewer Overflows

The average number of wet weather overflow events per year are 1 in the Hawkesbury Nepean, 1-17 in the Illawarra and 17 in Metropolitan Sydney. The goal is to reduce overflows. Suggested plans include rehabilitation of existing leaky sewers, additional sewers and interceptors (large diameter sewers), storage and/or treatment of flows.Sydney Water states that Sydney Harbour is a priority because of the high frequency of overflows and its high profile. It proposes to build a relief tunnel from Lane Cove to North Head under the Northern Suburbs Ocean Outflow Sewer. Sydney Water will be aiming for an 80-90% reduction of the number of current wet weather overflow events.

"Wet weather overflow abatement protects bathing recreation, shellfish harvests and overflows onto properties" WaterPlan 21


The ocean and beach strategy is to:

Options considered by Sydney Water are:

Sydney Water state that the energy consumption for the last 3 options is very high.

To minimise waste water discharge, reuse is required. Non-potable reuse for ocean STPs has been costed by Sydney Water as upwards of $7000 million. This is higher than inland STP reuse costs, due partly to increased treatment requirements.

Summary of actions and costs (WaterPlan 21):

Priorities of the environment groups:


Workshops will be held from 6 - 9 PM on:

Tuesday 3 June at The Parramatta Club,

37 Hunter St, Parramatta; and

Thursday 5 June at UTS Gallery, Level 6, Tower Building, 1 Broadway, Sydney.

Bookings are essential - phone 9241 2052. Admission is free. Light refreshments are included.

If you can’t make it you can still participate by sending a written submission to the "Environment Groups' Review of WaterPlan 21", 39 George St, SYDNEY 2000; or call 9241 2052 and leave a message. All submissions were to have been received by June 12, 1997, but refer to the STOP PRESS announcement above. We are now open for comments by E-mail.

Please contact us at:

Environment Group Review-WaterPlan 21

39 George St

SYDNEY 2000 Ph. 02 9241 2052

Published on the web for Environment Groups' Review of WaterPlan 21 by the National Parks Association of New South Wales. Email: This page posted by Edith Fink 23 May 1997. Last edited : 24 July 1997