September 23, 2021

A massive sewer leak at an eastern Sydney waste water treatment plant is one of the biggest public health risks that could be caused by an industrial waste dump.

The leak, which has not been fully identified, occurred during the early hours of Friday morning and has since contaminated hundreds of thousands of litres of waste water and resulted in hundreds of tonnes of waste being flushed down the Sydney Harbour.

It was a major environmental disaster, but now we’re looking at a serious health threat, says Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority said the leak at the Sydney Waste Treatment Plant had breached containment and was leaking at a rate of around 1,200 litres per minute.

The water was pumped to nearby ponds, and the city’s waste water is being diverted to nearby sites, including the Sydney River and the Meehl River, where it will be used for the citywide clean-up effort.

The city said it was working with Environment Protection NSW to investigate the leak, but that a report would be released in the next few weeks.

The Department of Primary Industries and the NSW Government are conducting a thorough investigation into the leak.

We’ve identified that there is a very large and significant environmental issue in this area, Dr Coleman says.

“This is not something that’s just a matter of the harbour or a waste dump, this is a serious concern and there are very real impacts on local communities, in terms of water quality, in relation to the river and its waterway.”

It’s a major concern, but it’s not a massive issue, Dr Caroline Kavanagh, a waste water expert from the NSW Health Authority, says.

Dr Kavanagas advice is that a wastewater discharge from a sewage plant or treatment plant could be hazardous to the environment.

“A discharge from the sewage plant could have a very serious impact on the environment, including water quality,” she says.

“The discharge from an industrial sewage plant can also be a major health hazard, particularly for people who work in the plant and who come into contact with wastewater.”

The NSW Government is looking at several potential solutions, including a wastewater treatment plant, a new wastewater treatment system or even anaerobic digesters.

A new wastewater system that has been installed at the Wrigleyville sewage treatment plant in Sydney, which could contain toxic wastewater from industrial waste, has been found to be unsafe.

The facility is currently undergoing a public works project to ensure it has a safe operation, including testing of wastewater.

The New South Wales Government has pledged $10 million to help pay for a permanent replacement plant at the site, which is expected to be completed by September 2020.

Topics:environment-and-health,environment,pollution-and/or-diseases-health-and.health,waste-water,woolworths-south-2040,sydney-2000,nsw,newcastle-2300First posted November 15, 2019 07:07:22Contact the author: [email protected],twitter:MikeMacleodTopics:health,health-policy,polluting-environment,welfare,environmental-health—other,environment-management,environmentaustraliaContact James RennieMore stories from New South

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