Refresh Vaucluse and Diamond Bay

We're refreshing the wastewater system to stop the continuous flow of untreated wastewater into the ocean.

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.


We're refreshing the wastewater system to stop the continuous flow of untreated wastewater into the ocean.

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.


  • NSW Government's commitment to end ocean outfalls

    8 months ago

    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...

    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

    12 months ago

    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...

    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.
  • Community Reference Group

    about 1 year ago

    The wastewater system on the South Head Peninsula is different from the rest of Sydney. It's the only system that doesn't treat wastewater before it gets discharged back into the ocean. It's also the last system of its kind in NSW and it's about time we did something about it.

    Fixing it won't be easy, it's a complex system.

    That's why we need to work together to come up with a solution that minimises impact on the community, maximises environmental benefits and is affordable. We’re forming a Community Reference Group (CRG) to help us understand what the local community thinks as we plan how we'll improve the wastewater system on the South Head Peninsula and bring it up to the same standard enjoyed by the rest of Sydney.

    If this sounds like something you'd be interested in joining, email us at vauclusediamondbay@sydneywater.com.au for an information pack. We look forward to hearing from you.

    The wastewater system on the South Head Peninsula is different from the rest of Sydney. It's the only system that doesn't treat wastewater before it gets discharged back into the ocean. It's also the last system of its kind in NSW and it's about time we did something about it.

    Fixing it won't be easy, it's a complex system.

    That's why we need to work together to come up with a solution that minimises impact on the community, maximises environmental benefits and is affordable. We’re forming a Community Reference Group (CRG) to help us understand what the local community thinks as we plan how we'll improve the wastewater system on the South Head Peninsula and bring it up to the same standard enjoyed by the rest of Sydney.

    If this sounds like something you'd be interested in joining, email us at vauclusediamondbay@sydneywater.com.au for an information pack. We look forward to hearing from you.