Water scrutiny ‘unwanted’

Sewage spilling into Lime Kiln Bay last Monday morning show the importance of continuing the Streamwatch program, volunteers say.
Sewage spilling into Lime Kiln Bay last Monday morning show the importance of continuing the Streamwatch program, volunteers say.

Thanks to the Leader for exposing a funding debacle around the future of Streamwatch (September 19).

It should be “core business” for Sydney Water whose ageing infrastructure keeps dumping sewer overflows into our waterways.

Sydney Water originally set up Streamwatch when, in the spirit of honesty and transparency, they encouraged the community to know about waterway health and up-skilled them in water quality testing, even though Sydney Water themselves were major pollution culprits. 

Decades later raw sewage overflows continue every time it rains.

The Sydney sewer system is collapsing under the pressure of exploding population growth.

Literally there are just too many more bottoms on toilet seats without any matching infrastructure upgrades, nor even basic maintenance.

It is no wonder Sydney Water no longer want any community driven scrutiny of their performance. 

Sydney Water reported a record profit of $447 million in 2016-17, which was more than $103 million above target.

It would only cost $100,000 per annum to support the entire network of more that 50 Streamwatch groups testing more than 150 waterway sites through out Sydney.

Not only should this program be funded, but Sydney Water should also re-invest its profits in infrastructure, so that we can safely enjoy our beautiful waterways. 

Back to the local picture: Following the very modest rainfall recorded in the week beginning September 3, members of the Oatley Streamwatch group observed the overflow in the Lime Kiln Bay wetlands.

There was a rapid clean up response initiated by Sydney Water.

At the same time the putrid overflow into the lovely Still Creek in the bushland of Menai was also reported to Sydney Water.

Days later they reported no action on that since, “they couldn’t find it”.

Could that be because Still Creek at Menai is hidden away and also doesn’t have a Streamwatch group?

Sharyn Cullis

Secretary, Georges River Environmental Alliance