Heavily sediment contaminated waste and stormwater observed discharging on to beach

Murky water at Six Ways Photo: Anthony Horwood

Central Coast Council has called for six weekly updates on the ongoing audit of the Terrigal catchment in the wake of renewed community concerns regarding possible water contamination at Terrigal Beach.
Following on from claims that sewage leaked onto the beach via the Seven Drains outlet at the southern end of the beach over the Easter long weekend, Terrigal Haven Supporters Group has reported another significant pollution event at the series of stormwater pipes known as Six-Ways beside Council’s main sewerage pumping station off Pine Tree La.
Group spokesman, Anthony Horwood, said he had observed litres of heavily sediment contaminated waste and stormwater discharging through the pipes on June 1, and flowing onto the beach via the Seven Drains.
“Water testing at Six-Ways pipes revealed (salinity and ammonia) readings indicating that the water contained likely sewage contamination,” he said.
“The heavily contaminated waste water appeared to contain vast amounts of very fine sediment, and was flowing into the Six-Ways stormwater pipe intersection via two separate pipes.”
Horwood said the water later flowed through to Seven Drains and onto the beach.
“It is of grave concern that contaminants within the Terrigal bowl catchment continue to pour unabated into the stormwater pipe system and ocean at Terrigal Beach, irrespective of Council’s catchment audit and current efforts to stem these contaminated flows,” he said.
The group is calling for Council to start planning for the diversion of all dry weather and first flush flows from the Six Ways pipe system and into the sewer system for appropriate treatment.
“This option is seen as the only way to provide surety to the community in the future that negligent, deliberate or accidental contaminant discharges can be captured before they reach Terrigal Bay and pollute the ocean,” Horwood said.
Central Coast Mayor, Jane Smith, said results of the Terrigal catchment audit were expected to be available mid-year.
Councillors received a comprehensive report on June 11 of the actions undertaken by staff to investigate water quality at Terrigal Haven over the Easter long weekend, with the report assuring that water coming from the Seven Drains over that weekend was not sewage.
The report highlighted that Terrigal Beach has consistently been rated as ‘good’ over the past few months, as per the guidelines used for the Beachwatch program, and does not pose any health risk to beach users.

Media release, June 3
Terrigal Haven Supporters, Anthony Horwood
Agenda item 4.8
Central Coast Council Ordinary Meeting, June 11

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