Coogee Beach storm water pipe contamination: Greens Councillor Murray Matson lodges Randwick council motion to explore fix-it options – 23rd February 2017

Greens Councillor Murray Matson’s storm motion “Review efficiency of current gross pollutant trap and discharge pipe at north end of Coogee Beach Water” will be debated at the Randwick Council meeting of the 28th February 2017.

Is the water at Coogee Beach clean enough to swim in or should Randwick Council do more to clean up its storm water pipe discharges at the northern end of the beach?

Councillor Matson says that the beach water contamination from the notorious north Coogee Beach storm water discharge pipe  presents a number of different issues.

He says:

“Along with the ‘wet whether flow’ issue of visible contamination in the waters off Coogee Beach when it rains there is also a ‘dry whether flow’ issue. The first is caused by planned-for overflows from Sydney Water sewerage pipes into the storm water pipes when heavy rain water enters and overwhelms the sewer system.  The ‘dry whether flow’ issuer suggests that there are unknown illegal or accidental connections between the local sewerage system and the storm water system that are consistently leaking contamination out into the beach water.”


“That Randwick Council monitors gross pollutant, bacterial and faecal contamination in discharges from the north Coogee Beach storm water pipe after both high rainfalls and during periods of dry weather and reports the data back to a Council meeting along with an assessment of corrective options that shall include;

  • Assessment of the immediate need to improve, replace or duplicate the Dolphin Street gross pollutant trap;
  • Assessing extending the stormwater pipe’s discharge point further off the beach by diverting the pipe through the adjacent northern headland;
  • The reducing of dry weather contamination flows by plans for a vigorous search for illegal or accidental sewage entry points into the storm water pipe itself;
  • Adopting a Council policy point of negotiating with local Members of Parliament and appropriate State Government authorities for a deed of agreement with Sydney Water to achieve reductions in the necessity of deliberate wet weather sewage overflow releases into the local stormwater system;
  • Adopting a Council policy point of working with the State Government to implement new infrastructure solutions including re-routing parts of the sewer system away from Coogee beach and more directly connecting to the Malabar STP; and
  • Plans for a special rate levy to fund relevant capital works programs.”

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