Refresh Vaucluse and Diamond Bay

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Diamond Bay

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).

The project scope includes:

  • two new pump stations (one in Parsley Bay and one in Eastern Reserve)
  • 3km of new wastewater pipelines
  • upgrade existing infrastructure such us vent shafts and man holes

Whilst challenging, we know this is the right thing to do and we need you to get involved as we fix this problem once and for all.

Refreshing the wastewater system in Vaucluse and Diamond Bay offers multiple benefits—improving the harbour and coastal water quality, as well as protecting the health of the community and marine ecology.

The project is currently in detailed design with construction expected to start in 2023.


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).

The project scope includes:

  • two new pump stations (one in Parsley Bay and one in Eastern Reserve)
  • 3km of new wastewater pipelines
  • upgrade existing infrastructure such us vent shafts and man holes

Whilst challenging, we know this is the right thing to do and we need you to get involved as we fix this problem once and for all.

Refreshing the wastewater system in Vaucluse and Diamond Bay offers multiple benefits—improving the harbour and coastal water quality, as well as protecting the health of the community and marine ecology.

The project is currently in detailed design with construction expected to start in 2023.


  • Vaucluse catchment design

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    The existing wastewater pipes for Vaucluse and Watsons Bay converge and connect to the Vaucluse ocean outfall in Parsley Bay. We therefore need to work in Parsley Bay to redirect the catchment to new pipes.

    The new infrastructure required for this includes a wastewater pump station. We worked with the Community Reference Group and Woollahra Council and looked at the suitability of several possible sites for the new pumping station. Most were ruled out because of heritage sensitivities or community impacts. We agreed to locate the pumping station underground where the existing amenities building is located at the rear of the Parsley Bay Reserve car park. Before starting, we will build toilet block amenity closer to the recreational area to ensure there are no disruptions for community members wishing to use the facility.

    Diverting the Vaucluse catchment involves:
    • Intercepting the network connection to the existing ocean outfall pipe at Parsley Bay
    • Constructing a new pumping station in Parsley Bay (70L/s)
    • Installing 35cm wide pipe using trenchless horizontal directional drill that will connect existing main at Rose Bay
    We will continue working with Woollahra Council to develop the design of the new amenity building. View or print the artist impression here.

  • Diamond Bay catchment design

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    There are two existing ocean outfalls at Eastern Reserve and Diamond Bay. We plan to connect the two ocean outfalls, then pump the wastewater to the existing wastewater network at Old South Head Road.

    The existing pipe is large and has capacity to easily get the wastewater to the treatment plant at Bondi. Once at Bondi, the wastewater will be treated and discharged into the ocean through deep ocean outfall pipes.

    Diverting the Diamond Bay catchment involves:
    • Intercepting the existing outfalls at Eastern Reserve and Diamond Bay
    • Installing a 30cm wide pipe to connect Diamond Bay to Eastern Reserve
    • 33L/s pumping station at Eastern Reserve
    • 20cm wide rising main to connect to the existing Rose Bay sub main
    Working with Waverley Council and guided by local input, we will refine the design to blend with the environment. We will also contribute to Council’s planned improvements to the clifftop boardwalk at Diamond Bay. You can view or print artist impression of Eastern Avenue Reserve here.
  • Connection points at Rose Bay

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    We need to connect the pipes in Vaucluse and Watson Bay to a new pipe, and pump the wastewater to the existing Rose Bay network.

    It will be achieved through the installation of a 37cm wide gravity main running from Carlisle Street and a 35cm wide pressure main running from Parsley Bay. These mains will connect to the existing Rose Bay submain in Dover Road.

    This will involve some short sections of open trench work on the verge of roads where we need to connect to the existing network. The work is expected about four to six weeks to complete.

    The works will not affect traffic as the construction will be occurring on the road shoulder. You can view or print the map showing these connections here.



  • Community support shining like a diamond

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    About 300 people came to chat and tell us what they think about this project at six information pop-up sessions held in Rose Bay, Parsley Bay and Diamond Bay during November.

    The events were promoted on Facebook, reaching over 14,000 people in the local area, resulting in over 3,300 visits to this Sydney Water Talk site.

    For those came to one of our 'pop-up' sessions visit our photo gallery and feel free to share your favourite images via your social networks.


  • Two community sessions left

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    Our pop-up community information sessions are running all this month. Share your ideas with us to help refine the Refresh Vaucluse Diamond Bay project. We have two sessions left, so make sure to come down.

    Apart from all the latest project news, you can also pick up some free goodies such as Sydney Water shower timers. Join our team between 10am – 1pm at:

    • Sunday 24 November 2019 - Parsley Bay Reserve – BBQ with Rose Bay Rotary Club
    • Saturday 30 November 2019 - Diamond Bay Reserve – BBQ with Rose Bay Rotary Club.


  • November community information sessions

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    Tell us what you think about the Refresh Vaucluse Diamond Bay project at a pop-up community information session which are being held across the peninsula every weekend this month.

    Apart from all the latest project news, you can also pick up some free goodies such as Sydney Water shower timers. Join our team between 10am – 1pm at:

    • Saturday, 9 November 2019 - the Eastern Reserve, Dover Heights (near the Eastern Avenue entrance)
    • Sunday 10 November 2019 - Rose Bay North’s shopping precinct (near the supermarket) on Old South Head Road
    • Saturday 16 November 2019 - Rose Bay East shopping precinct (near hardware store) Old South Head Road
    • Sunday 17 November 2019 - Rose Bay shopping precinct (near Rose Bay Hotel) New South Head Road
    • Sunday 24 November 2019 - Parsley Bay Reserve – BBQ with Rose Bay Rotary Club
    • Saturday 30 November 2019 - Diamond Bay Reserve – BBQ with Rose Bay Rotary Club.

    If you can’t make it to one of these sessions you can always call us on 1800 732 069 or email vauclusediamondbay@sydneywater.com.au to tell us what you think or ask us a question.


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  • Project Update - September 2019

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    We had a great turn out of community representatives from all over the peninsula at our second Community Reference Group (CRG) which was held this year on 21 August 2019 to discuss the next steps of the project’s journey.

    During the meeting the group discussed options to refine the concept design, as well as activities we’re planning to involve the community to refine the plan for diverting wastewater from Vaucluse and Diamond Bay to the Bondi Treatment Plant.

    Recently, we distributed a project community update newsletter to residents across the Vaucluse, Dover Heights and Rose Bay area to recap the project’s benefits and seeking for your feedback. If you didn’t receive one the community update can also be found under the ‘Document Library’ on this website.

    We’re relying on your feedback to help us develop a concept design which will benefit the community, so call 1800 732 069 or email vauclusediamondbay@sydneywater.com.au if you have a question or let us know what you think by registering and posting your comments here.

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  • Project Update - August 2019

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    Having worked with the community to identify a preferred solution to redirect untreated wastewater away from the last three remaining ocean outfalls at Vaucluse and Diamond Bay, this year we’re asking you for help to develop the concept design.

    While we’ve already extensively modeled the wastewater system in your area to identify a solution, we still need to do more to better understand the topography, soil and site suitability.

    Changing the way wastewater flows in your area means we need to reconfigure existing and new supporting infrastructure like underground pipes and pumping stations. However, recent advances in technology enables us to work with you to refine the concept design to have the least impact on the environment and the community — locating supporting infrastructure underground and using pipes which will be about 30cm in diameter and up to 70m below street level.

    Working with you we expect to complete the concept design by the end of this year and following public submissions, complete environmental approvals by March 2020. Construction is then anticipated to start in the latter half of 2020.


    Next steps

    Throughout this process we will be seeking your views to help us refine the route, appearance, footprint and proposed construction approaches for the new infrastructure.

    We’ve already held our first Community Reference Group in June 2019, and in the coming weeks and months we will be letter-boxing and holding local community information sessions, as well as seeking your views through Sydney Water Talk and interactive feedback online tools.

    Please subscribe here to receive latest news and details about these information events. If you have any questions or concerns, drop us an email or give us a call. Your feedback is always important to us.

    Call 1800 732 069 or email vauclusediamondbay@sydneywater.com.au


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  • NSW Government's commitment to end ocean outfalls

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    Today the NSW Government announced it will stop the continuous flow of untreated wastewater from three ocean outfalls at Vaucluse and Diamond Bay.  

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

    Refreshing the wastewater system in your area will address the pollution, water quality and public health risks associated with the ocean outfalls and bring your wastewater system up to the same standard as the rest of Sydney.

    Sydney Water is very pleased with the support we’ve received from the community to date and we’ll be looking for your continued involvement as we work to fix this long-standing problem.

    Our solution

    This year we’ve investigated various ways we can treat the wastewater we collect from Watsons Bay, Vaucluse, Diamond Bay, Rose Bay North and parts of Dover Heights.

    After a public expression of interest process, we set up a Community Reference Group and over four meetings, we’ve tested our ideas. They’ve given us important input on what the community values and loves about the area.

    With this information, we’ve chosen 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.

    What’s next

    Next year will be an important one for this project.

    There’s a lot involved in planning an infrastructure project of this scale and local knowledge can help identify local solutions to local challenges. That’s why we’ll continue to involve the community as we come up with a design, seek environmental approvals and secure funding.

    Once these approvals are secured, Sydney Water can commence construction in 2020 and this legacy issue with become history.

    Let’s keep talking

    Whilst we still don’t have all the answers, it’s important we keep talking.  

    Your feedback is important to us.

    Call 1800 645 466 or email vauclusedaimondbay@sydneywater.com.au

  • Project update - June 2018

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    Community Reference Group Meeting #1

    Our Community Reference Group (CRG) had its first meeting on Tuesday 29 May. It was a great opportunity for our team to meet community representatives from across the peninsula and to share the purpose of the group:

    · “To enable Sydney Water to better understand community expectations for the Vaucluse and Diamond Bay Ocean Outfalls so that community values can be included in the decision-making for the long-term solution”

    The meeting helped to set the scene - the background to this project, the findings of Sydney Water’s recent pollution study and how Sydney Water and the CRG will work together to review and refine possible solutions.

    Key points raised during the meeting:

    Drivers for the project

    • The pollution study found there was a very high risk to public health and high risk to the environment from the outfalls, which is unacceptable to Sydney Water.
    • Sydney Water has an opportunity to fix this ongoing problem of the outfalls.
    • Many in the community would be surprised to hear that the wastewater from the ocean outfalls is untreated – they would strongly support Sydney Water moving ahead with a solution.
    • Nearby swimming beaches have good water quality for swimming and Sydney Water is monitoring water quality near the outfalls.

    How we find a solution

    • The solution needs to minimise impacts to the community and be affordable.
    • The cost/benefit of options will be a key factor for discussion during our second meeting.
    • The review of options needs to consider community values across the whole project area – from Watsons Bay, Vaucluse to Dover Heights and Rose Bay North.
    • Solutions need to be assessed based on a range of factors including local/wider community benefit, public health, aesthetics, community and other stakeholder support, environmental improvement, cost to Sydney Water’s customers, community disturbance in construction and operation, future needs, best practice and learnings from other projects, new technologies and financial responsibility.

    Community engagement

    • The whole community needs to get involved and understand why this project is needed
    • CRG members will discuss what they’ve learnt with their groups, neighbours and friends and encourage involvement in the discussions

    Community Reference Group Meeting #2

    The CRG will meet again on Tuesday 3 July to give feedback on a range of potential solutions. We will summarise the outcomes of that meeting here on Sydney Water Talk.

    We will share details and seek feedback from the wider community about feasible options later in July. Look out for a project update in your letterbox or check Sydney Water Talk in July for more details.

    Tell us what you think

    It's not too late to let us know what you value about life on the peninsula. Information gathered through our online poll and issues mapping tool will help our team and the CRG understand community values when assessing the initial long list of possible solutions.

    Community Reference Group Membership

    Our CRG members:

    • Allan Aaron, Vaucluse resident and convener of the Vaucluse / Diamond Bay Precinct Committee
    • Bruce Bland, Rose Bay resident and Vice President of Rose Bay Residents Association
    • Tony Booth, Vaucluse resident and member of Vaucluse Progress Association
    • Peter Cappe, Dover Heights resident and member of the Dover Heights Precinct Committee
    • Dov Frazer, Dover Heights resident, convener of the Dover Heights Precinct Committee and member of the Bondi Wastewater Treatment Plant Community Consultative Committee
    • Leon Goltsman, Vaucluse resident and Waverley Councillor for Bondi Ward
    • Ron Nothman, Dover Heights resident and member of the Dover Heights Precinct Committee
    • Terry Pullinger, Vaucluse resident
    • Peter Quartly, North Bondi resident and convenor of the North Bondi Precinct Committee and member of the Bondi Wastewater Treatment Plant Community Consultative Committee
    • Bruce Thom, Vaucluse resident and Chair of NSW Coastal Council
    • Susan Wynne, Vaucluse resident and Deputy Mayor of Woollahra Council (Vaucluse Ward)
    • Bob Steele, Vaucluse resident
    Representatives from Waverley Council, Woollahra Council and the Office of the Member for Vaucluse are attending the CRG meetings as observers.
Page last updated: 02 Aug 2022, 09:15 AM