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Sydney Water forced to pay over sewage leak

By Georgia Fullerton

 

Sydney Water have been ordered to pay $157,000 in damages after pleading guilty to neglect  that resulted in a sewage leak in Malabar.

The Land and Environment court charged Sydney Water with failure to comply with their environment protection licence, after a sewage leak affected Malabar Headlands in September of 2013.

The leak was a result of Sydney Water’s failure to maintain a pipe at the Malabar Waste Water Treatment Plant. An estimated 500,000 litres of treated effluent was reportedly discharged into the ocean near Yellow Rock, an amount which could have been flowing for up to five days. 

David Pyett, Chair of Friends of Malabar Headlands, believes the overall quality of the headlands needs to be considered.

“The federal government is spending a lot of money re-mediating the Headland. Sydney Water need to take better care in the future to make sure that the remediation is preserved,” he said.

Since the leak, Sydney Water have started work in efforts to improve the reliability of the treatment plant in Malabar, which includes replacing existing infrastructure above and below ground. The work began in 2014 and is expected to conclude in 2017.
Sydney Water will pay $102,500 to the NSW Environmental Trust and $55,000 to Randwick Council, who will conduct an investigation project. They will be looking at how to improve dry sewer leaks to storm water from private properties. 

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