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 pollution, water quality and public health risks associated with the ocean outfalls.

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 support we've received from the community as we continue working to fix this long term problem.

After a public expression of interest process, we set up a Community Reference Group. Over four meetings, we’ve tested your ideas and developed a solution that will end these ocean outfalls.

We plan to connect the ocean outfalls to a large wastewater pipe that runs along Old South Head Road. This pipe has capacity and it’s the easiest way to get the wastewater that currently flows directly into the ocean to a treatment plant.

While we’ve extensively modelled the wastewater system in your area, we still need to better understand the area - its topography, soil and site conditions - before we start work. So in 2019, that’s exactly what we’ll be doing. We’ll be testing the environment and continuing to talk with you as we come up with a design.

We're encouraging everyone to get involved in the conversation on 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: