SYDNEY, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) — Australia’s New South Wales state is turning off its last few sewage pipes that discharge untreated wastewater into the sea near iconic Bondi Beach, following warnings that the waste outfalls posed significant health risks, local media reported on Sunday.
The state’s remaining pipes that dump sewage into the ocean at the Vaucluse and Diamond Bay areas will be shut with the wastewater directed to a nearby treatment facility, The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper quoted its Premier Gladys Berejiklian as saying.
The sewage pipes are a legacy from state capital Sydney’s early wastewater system, dating back to the early 20th century, said Berejiklian. The latest water treatment project is set to cost more than 80 million Australian dollars (57.7 million U.S. dollars) and take about two years to complete, according to authorities.
A report commissioned by state water authorities earlier this year found that “visible plumes” from the outfalls posed critical health risks, with the area unsuitable for swimming due to bacterial levels, the newspaper reported. About 4 million liters of sewage flow from the pipes daily, it said. The pipes lie a few kilometers north of Bondi Beach, one of Australia’s top tourist attractions.
The project would bring the area’s wastewater system up to speed with the rest of the city, the state’s Energy and Utilities Minister Don Harwin was quoted as saying.
“The community agrees it’s important to stop our untreated wastewater being discharged directly into the ocean,” he said.