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Latest News

Latest developments affecting the water industry as well as updates on our activities in the Shoalhaven

NSW Water Utility Report Card Released

18th May 2017

The annual performance report has been released by the NSW Government for 2015-16. The NSW Government provides each water utility with a Triple Bottom Line (TBL) assessment of their performance against other compariable sized water utilities across the state.

The TBL outcomes were tabled at Councils Strategy & Assets Committee meeting on 16 May 2017 and Council acknowledged the positive results for Shoalhaven Water across the performance benchmarking indicators.

Shoalhaven Water is benchmarked against NSW’s 92 regional local water utilities. Shoalhaven Water is the third largest regional water utility in NSW behind Hunter Water and Central Coast Water.

In summary, Shoalhaven’s results across the full suite of performance indicators are at the higher end of the scale in comparison. This is generally a very good outcome for customers who are supplied with Shoalhaven Water services. A full copy of the NSW Performance Monitoring Report is available here.

A broad snapshot of some of the customer and financial indicators within this report and Shoalhaven Water’s performance against the Statewide and National Median Average is indicated below;

2015-16

Indicator Shoalhaven Statewide Median National Median
Residential water usage charge $1.65 $2.28 $1.90
Typical residential water bill $328 $601 $623
Average annual residential water supplied 150kl 162kl 181kl
Operating cost – water ($ per property) $278 $440 $485
Water quality complaints(# per 1000 properties) 0.2 3 2
Water main breaks (# per 100km water main) 8 9 13
Water Losses (litres per connection per day) 70 litres 70 litres 76 litres
Typical residential sewer bill $772 $697 $703
Operating cost –sewerage ($ per property) $466 $470 $429
Sewer service complaints (# per 1000 properties) 0.5 5 1
Average sewerage service interruption (minutes) 47 108 101
Sewer main breaks and chokes (# per 100km of main) 13 38 20
Total capital expenditure for sewerage ($ per property) $200 $186 $212

Removal of old Cambewarra Telecommunications Tower Notice of Commencement

8th May 2017

Shoalhaven Water advise that demolition of the old Cambewarra communications tower is scheduled to commence on 10 May 2017 and subject to weather conditions the work will continue throughout the month.

The demolition contractor Future Engineering and Communications will be bringing plant and equipment on site.The demolition will be in two stages; the demolition and removal of the buildings, followed by the removal of the lattice tower. Once the demolition and removal is complete ground rehabilitation works will be undertaken.

If you need further information about this matter, please contact Fiona Bowman, Shoalhaven Water Group on (02) 4429 3495.

NSW Police presence at Yalwal

26th March 2017

Shoalhaven City Council are partnering with the NSW Police to combat anti-social behaviour at the Shoalhaven Water Danjera Dam facility at Yalwal. Ranger services are normally active at Yalwal during holiday periods but this Easter and the other upcoming long weekends, they will be supported by the NSW Police. Yalwal is a very popular destination for campers and day trippers but to ensure that the facility can be enjoyed by everyone the NSW Police will be targeting unauthorised use of motorbikes and anti-social behaviour. The RBT initiative will be part of this campaign.

Meter Reading and Billing Delay

17th March 2017

The ongoing poor weather has caused delays in the normal cycle of meter reading and billing. For some customers in the northern part of the city that would normally receive their water accounts in March, there may be a delay of up to two weeks. The delay is regretted but unfortunately it has resulted from difficulties in reaching water meters in some of the rural areas. Shoalhaven Water apologises for any inconvenience.

Shoalhaven Environmental Expo

17th March 2017

Shoalhaven City Council have a crew of dedicated staff who are currently making preparations for an Environmental Expo which will be held at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre on 30 May. The expo is an event designed to showcase Council’s strengths in the areas of sustainability and community partnerships. 

You are invited to come along and see firsthand a range of showcased information which will include interactive workshops designed to encourage simple actions to protect our beautiful local environment. Various community groups will also be promoting their sustainable activities and educating residents on the opportunities to connect, be local and participate in activities that directly reduce our ecological footprint.

Shoalhaven Water will be taking this opportunity to promote the expansion of the Recycled Water Management Scheme (REMS) which is an award winning process that reuses treated effluent by providing local dairy farmers, playing fields, and parks with a reliable irrigation water supply. If recycled wastewater is not your thing why not come along and meet the ever popular Tapstar and his good friend Flush.

Mayors Pool Party

15th March 2017

Tapstar and Dripette recently attended the Mayor’s End of Summer Pool Party where the Mayor made a special announcement. Mayor Findley announced that the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will be visiting the Shoalhaven next February 2018. Nowra will be one of 26 regional NSW towns who will have the honour of hosting the Baton Relay. For more information visit Shoalhaven Council

Australian Water - NSW Water Awards

15th March 2017

The Australian Water Association has recognised two Shoalhaven Water staff for their outstanding performances in the Water Industry. Carmel Krogh, Director Shoalhaven Water has received the prestigious “Water Professional of the Year” award with Kaitlyn Bell receiving the “Student Water Prize”. These awards are due recognition of their exceptional contribution.

Carmel Krogh was the first female engineer to graduate from the University of Technology Sydney and from that time she has been focused on improving water utility services in local communities’, nationally and internationally. Carmel is a leading figure in the Water Industry and through her Directorship of Shoalhaven Water and the Australian Water Association she has continued to drive for improvements in utility services. Carmel has been recognised for her effective people skills at all levels and significant contribution to the industry.

Kaitlyn Bell has also been recognised for her outstanding performance in the water industry. Kaitlyn produced a thesis for University which developed an accurate and reliable method to measure the operation performance of sewer pumps with her project delivering a new, revolutionary, mobile method which has significantly changed the accuracy of testing.

Kaitlyn Bell commenced a traineeship in Engineering with Shoalhaven Water in June 2015 whilst she was studying mechanical engineering at the University of Wollongong. Kaitlyn formed part of a team of 3 young undergraduate engineers whom were all studying different disciplines of engineering. 

The students worked together to develop ideas and solutions that were innovative and allowed for a collaborative approach to solving problems. As part of Kaitlyn’s development program she was encouraged to undertake her University Honours Thesis based on a project that would benefit Shoalhaven Water and the wider water industry. The criteria for the project was to be innovative and thus began the development of a mobile device for flow measurement at sewer pump stations. Kaitlyn embraced the “Internet of Things” and developed a mobile solution that significantly enhanced the accuracy of testing and provided real time data on operation. 

This device has revolutionised the way in which staff are able to measure the performance of a submersible pumps in the field. Kaitlyn received a High Distinction for her honours thesis and she received further recognition when she recently won the Australian Water Association, 2017 NSW Student Water Prize. Kaitlyn will now represent NSW at the OZ Water Conference in May 2017 which is held at the International Convention Centre Sydney. She will present her project work to the wider industry and be in the running for the National Student Water Prize. 

Whilst Kaitlyn has now commenced work with AECOM as a Graduate Mechanical Engineer, she is still very much a part of Shoalhaven Water and will showcase her project to the world as A Shoalhaven Water Young Engineer.

Shoalhaven City Council and Shoalhaven Water are proud and congratulate Carmel and Kaitlyn on the recognition for their contribution.

Porters Creek Dam Reopens

23rd February 2017

Shoalhaven Water has officially opened the upgraded Porters Creek Dam, half a century after the initial dam construction in 1967. The dam provides approximately 30% of Southern Shoalhaven’s drinking water supply and has a reservoir capacity of 1,900 mega litres.

Carmel Krogh, Director Shoalhaven Water is proud of the outcomes of the upgrade from a number of perspectives, saying “The dam upgrade is a major milestone for Shoalhaven Water. It will ensure we have adequate water supply for the southern Shoalhaven in the future. The dam was built on time and under budget and included 25,000 man hours to upgrade.”

She also emphasized the quality or personnel involved in the project and stated “Not only has this project brought together technical and complex inputs from great teams of people but has also been fascinating from an historical perspective. This dam project is as much about people as it is about engineering.”

Carmel was particularly pleased that the new project provided some fascinating linkages with the original dam. “The original dam was constructed in 1967 by Shoalhaven Shire Council and was designed and supervised by the engineering firm Gutteridge Haskins and Davy (GHD). A young 17 year old named Laurie Andrew started his working life at that time as a trainee surveyor on that dam project. Fifty years later GHD designed the upgrade and that same Laurie Andrew works for Shoalhaven City Council and acted as Council’s site supervisor for the upgrade”.

The original dam consisted of a 17 metre high by 139 metre long post-tensioned concrete gravity section with an overflow spillway integral with the crest. The upgrade commenced in March 2016 and eight months later, a new dam wall involved the construction of 4,500m3 of concrete gravity buttress and stilling basin has been constructed.

The upgrade of the dam was in response to meet safety requirements, to ensure longevity of the dam structure and consequently meet the future water supply demands of the Milton and Ulladulla communities. The upgrade also included the 3.6km of Porters Creed Rd sealed from the Princes Hwy to Graydon Pointer Rd.

REMS 1B – update

15th February 2017

Shoalhaven Water’s contractor has commenced work on the next stage of the Reclaimed Water Management Scheme (REMS) which includes the construction of the new treatment facilities at the Nowra and Bomaderry Sewerage Treatment Plants.

Potential Water Restrictions

30th January 2017

Shoalhaven Water would like to advise that although we are currently not in water restrictions we encourage the community to use water wisely.

Director of Shoalhaven Water Carmel Krogh says that the current dry conditions have caused flows in the Shoalhaven River to drop considerably.

Water Restrictions will come into play if our main supply at Bamarang Dam is drawn down to 60% and we are forced to pump from our emergency storage dam.

To keep an eye on our dam levels you can follow our Water Snapshot page

Tapstar & Dripette perform in Sydney

18th January 2017

Our very own Tapstar & Dripette have been on the move over summer this time performing their ‘Tapstar Saves the Waterways’ show at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens. This was a ticketed event hosted by the Gardens.

Seniors Week Treatment Plant Tour

18th January 2017

Shoalhaven Water invite the community to book a place on our upcoming Water & Wastewater Treatment Plant tour which is being held on Wednesday 8 March.

You will see how water is collected and treated before being distributed to your home and how wastewater is treated before becoming a part of the highly acclaimed recycled effluent management scheme. There is no charge to attend and morning tea will be provided. To find out more or to book a place on this tour contact us today on 4429 3214.

Porters Creek Dam Update

4th January 2017

Although there are still some restricted areas around Porters Creek Dam, public access is now available at the eastern end of the dam wall carpark area.

Christmas Closure Announcement

23rd December 2016

Shoalhaven Water offices will be closed from 4pm Friday 23 December to 8:00am Tuesday 3 January 2017. If you require any emergency assistance please contact our after-hours number 4421 3100 in the first instance or 0422 803 013.

Sewer Service to St Andrew’s Way Coolangatta

6th December 2016

Councils Strategy & Assets Committee in November resolved that Council support “in principle” the provision of sewerage to residential lots in St Andrew’s Way and Berry’s Bay Coolangatta to allow staff to further consult with the affected owners in regards to timing, scope, extent of services.

A copy of the report and resolution can be found on the Council website.
Report 1
Report 2

Shoalhaven Water undertaking water mains scouring

29th November 2016

Shoalhaven Water will be using water hydrant points to extract water under pressure from the mains around the Culburra and Orient Point areas during the period 12 to 16 December.

This process “scours” the water mains of iron sediment which can discolour the water during the times when water supplies are in high demand across the network. Shoalhaven Water staff will be constantly moving around the selected areas shown on the map whilst flushing the mains and residents might see water flowing from hydrant points.

Customers may experience dirty water for brief periods during the day when scouring is occurring. Shoalhaven Water expects that any dirty water issues will be localised and only last for short periods, if at all.

As a precaution, Shoalhaven Water recommends that customers store a small quantity of water in the fridge for drinking and or cooking purposes if needed during this period. Advice of the programmed work has been sent to individual properties.

Porters Creek Dam Remediation Works Road Reopening

18th November 2016

Council’s Shoalhaven Water Group wishes to inform you that Porters Creek road will reopen on 2December 2016. Please be aware that some construction traffic movement may occur for a short period after the reopening.

On Friday 25 November the winch truck will decent down Porters Creek Road, expected to be complete by 2pm. Traffic management and escorts will be in place with the oversize loads to coordinate local traffic access.

On Tuesday 29 November, it is expected the Batch plant will be demobilised over 2 days also causing traffic delays.

If you need further information about this matter, please contact Robert Horner, Water Asset Planning & Development Manager on (02) 4429 3223 or Laurie Andrew, Project Site Supervisor on 0423 004 132.

Please quote Council’s reference 48043E/5.

New Water Filling Station for Vincentia

15th November 2016

Shoalhaven Water have installed a 4th water filling station along the ‘round the bay walk’. The new unit has been installed at Plantation Point and with units already installed at Huskisson, Callala Beach and Callala Bay will provide users of the walk with easy access to fill water bottles. Shoalhaven Water are progressively installing water filling stations at public sites across the city.

National Water Photo Comp Winner

19th October 2016

Shoalhaven Water is proud to announce that the winner of the 6th Annual National Water Week Photographic Competition is Kaye Rhodes with her image of Alexis. With so many wonderful entries the judges finally settled on this fun image as it really captured the theme Water – Life – Growth.

Thank you to everyone who entered this year’s competition. Congratulations Kaye and enjoy your $500 Holiday Haven Gift Voucher!

National Water Week

11th October 2016

Shoalhaven Water is proud to support the annual National Water Week community awareness campaign which aims to encourage the community to celebrate all things water. This year the set theme was ‘Water – Life – Growth’.

We are happy to announce that our annual photographic competition received almost 40 fantastic entries and is currently on exhibition in Shoalhaven City Councils foyer. Judging will take place in the next week and the winner of the competition will be notified and will receive a Holiday Haven Voucher worth $500.

Shoalhaven Water will also conduct a Water & Wastewater Treatment Plant Tour on Wednesday 19 October. If you would like to book a place on the tour or for more details, contact us directly on 4429 3214.

Launching the next stage in the Reclaimed Water Management Scheme

11th October 2016

Shoalhaven Water’s Reclaimed Water Management Scheme (REMS) is one of the largest and most complex schemes of its kind in Australia. Since early 2000 the scheme has reused treated effluent to provide local dairy farms, playing fields and parks with a reliable irrigation water supply, and keeping wastewater out of Jervis Bay.

Thanks to the dedication of the Shoalhaven Water staff and consultants, Mayor Amanda Findley has just turned the first sod of soil to launch the next stage of the project – Stage 1B. This next stage goes one step further to improve environmental discharges and provide for growth in the region. Stage 1B will increase the reclaimed water available for beneficial reuse and will include the construction of new facilities at Bomaderry and Nowra sewage treatment plants and the design and construction of a transfer main under the Shoalhaven River to connect the two plants.

Construction is expected to take approximately two years.

Porters Creek Road Closure Notification - Commence Closure 23rd August 2016

16th August 2016

Council’s Shoalhaven Water Group wishes to notify the Community that Porters Creek Road Closure will commence on the 23rd August 2016 and extend for approximately 4 months, dependant on the project’s progress.

The Porters Creek Road closure is applicable during weekdays, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). The Porters Creek Road Closure will limit public traffic from the western side of Graydons Pointer Road, therefore not impeding on usual access to residents.

The Porters Creek Road closure’s purpose is to reduce safety risk to the public and the Project’s personnel. Council and the Porters Creek Dam Upgrade Principal Contractor, Leed have undertaken extensive consultation with stakeholders and the community which has resulted in a procedure which will enable public access by appointment during road closure times which will enable the public to access Porters Creek Road by appointment during the weekday road closure times.

For further information regarding the road closure and access by appointment please refer to the following options:

  • contact Council’s Principal Contractor Leed: Project Manager Travis Haw on 0417 166 480 or Shoalhaven Water Project Site Supervisor Laurie Andrew on 0423 004 132, or
  • Visit the Ulladulla Information Centre which is the nominated public location to access the relevant application forms, or
  • Access the Shoalhaven Major Projects Website

Smart WaterMark launches new website

26th July 2016

Smart Approved WaterMark CEO, Chris Philpot recently announced the launch of a new site with a focus on information relating to water efficient products.

The Smart WaterMark is Australia's label for products and services that save water and was established by the Australian Water Association, Irrigation Australia, the Nursery & Garden Industry Australia, and Water Services Association of Australia.

Smart WaterMark was established in Australia in 2004 with the aim of increasing the availability of water efficient products on the market. In this time it has certified over 320 products and services. An independent Expert Panel assesses applications and has a range of experience covering water conservation, horticulture, water utilities, irrigation, plumbing, education and retail.

In order to be successful, products or services must meet the four main criteria: saving water or enabling water saving, be fit for purpose, meet regulations and standards and be environmentally sustainable.

Visit the Smart WaterMark website to find out more

Porters Creek Rd Residents - Concrete Batch Plant impeding traffic movement

31st May 2016

Residents of Porters Creek Rd are advised that a Concrete Batch Plant being trucked to the Dam site is stuck approximately 6250m from Princes Highway (the Highway side of Graydons Pointer Rd). This unfortunately is impeding traffic from passing and a crane is being mobilised to clear the site and enable the free passage of vehicles.

The Contractor is committed to providing free passage to vehicles by this evening. Shoalhaven Water apologises for any inconvenience caused with the team working to resolve this traffic problem in a safe and timely manner.

Any queries please contact the Project Supervisor Laurie Andrew 0423 004 132

Night works in The Wool Road St Georges Basin

16th May 2016

Shoalhaven Water have provided residents along The Wool Road St Georges Basin with information about night works which will commence on Tuesday 17 May 2016. Only a small number of residential properties might be affected by the sewer works which are required to ensure the continuation of sewer services.

The night works are necessary as it is the low point of use of the system and it will enable the sewer main to be cut and a new valve installed. There is likely to be some cutting noise and movement of pump trucks during this time and every effort is being taken to limit the disruption. Shoalhaven Water appreciates the patience of customers during this time. Works are due to be completed on 18 May 2016.

Enquiries regarding the work can be obtained from Shoalhaven Water on 44293214.

Water Utilities working together

12th May 2016

Wet wipes are a growing and serious problem for sewer systems across the nation with 75% of sewer blockages being caused by wet wipes or similarly branded items. Carmel Krogh, Director of Shoalhaven Water who recently interviewed on Power FM 94.9 explained that people might be misled with package labelling which indicates products are flushable, and they are not.

The wipes simply do not break down in the sewerage system and instead create blockages. The interview and discussion can be heard by visiting Power FM. Choice Magazine has also shown their support in the cause against wet wipes.

To read more about the messy truth on flushable wipes visit choice.com.au

HVTC Excellence Awards recognise Shoalhaven’s young achievers

5th May 2016

Shoalhaven Water is proud to announce that Samantha D’Elboux from Culburra Beach has been named the 2016 HVTC (Hunter Valley Training Company) Indigenous Apprentice/Trainee of the Year. Samantha joined Shoalhaven Water in 2014 and has since completed Certificate II in Water Operations and has since commenced Certificate III in Water Operations.

Shoalhaven Nowra News quoted Samantha as saying “This award means a lot to me. It’s a huge personal achievement and a real honour to be recognised both locally and state-wide. I’m really interested in pursuing a career in water and environmental conservation.

Living in small community such as Nowra there aren’t a lot of opportunities to branch out into the environmental industry but my traineeship with Shoalhaven Water has given me a great chance to get a foot in the door to this industry”.

Carmel Krogh the Director of Shoalhaven Water has congratulated Samantha for her excellent work and being Shoalhaven Water’s first female (Indigenous) Water/Wastewater Attendant.

New Billing Account Number

21st April 2016

Shoalhaven Water is preparing for a new billing system. It includes a new account number which is the same as your previous reference number that’s used for payments through banks and other payment options. 

Having one unique number will help reduce the misallocation of payments by customers using internet banking. There is nothing that you need to do.

For more information call us on 02 4429 3214.

Seniors Week Water & Wastewater Treatment Plant Tour Wednesday 6 April

15 March 2016

Shoalhaven Water invite the community to attend a free tour of two of the region’s major treatment plant facilities where you can see firsthand how we produce fresh clean drinking water and how we treat wastewater for reuse on our farms.

If you would like to learn more about these fascinating and complex procedures please call Shoalhaven Water on 4429 3214 and book a place.

Resident caught illegally drawing water

12 March 2016

A vigilant Shoalhaven Water customer was suspicious of an individual drawing water from the Shoalhaven Water main in Nowra. By immediately reporting their concern, Shoalhaven Water were able to quickly locate, assess and confront the individual which resulted in the confiscation of the water standpipe.

All Shoalhaven Water standpipes are painted orange to easily identify legitimate equipment approved to extract water from the mains. Using any other standpipe is offence which can result in legal action against offenders. The security of water mains is paramount in protecting the quality of water supply.

Proposed Merger Update

05 March 2016

Shoalhaven City Council’s General Manager attended a briefing at the Office of Premier & Cabinet. The briefing proposed a merger between Kiama Municipal Council and Shoalhaven City Council. Shoalhaven Water is a business unit of Council. The meeting was held by the State Government to provide Council with some more information about the process to be followed for the merger proposal.

The Office of Local Government has now appointed Council with a delegate, Greg Wright, to undertake consultation in both Council areas. To help our community understand the merger proposal and the potential impacts, a Discussion Paper has been prepared.

Further information about the proposal, discussion paper and details about attending public meetings or making a written submission can be found on the Council homepage