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Latest News

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

Last show for the year

11 December 2018

Shoalhaven Water would like to thank our water saving superheroes for another successful year as the Tapstar Show visited 11 local primary schools. The last show of the year received major applause by Nowra Public School teacher Shane McMillan, who was very impressed that the show was such a hit with the students and that the use of humour, music and fun all combined to help deliver a very important message to the students. 

Below are some of the comments received by the students.

"On Friday November 30th all of Infants came to the Tap stars show tap stars came to Nowra Public school in the hall. Tap stars is a water hero. Kids came on the stage to perform in the show. Granny used water to move the leaves off the drive way. I enjoyed the show because learnt something about saving water."
 Layla

"Friday 30th of November we walked to the hall to see a show about saving water called tapstars. There was an angry toilet who was the funniest. When Tapstar said Tapstar we went dededoo!!!! Oscar is a character and a actor for granny. my favourite way to save water is while you brush your teeth keep the tap off."
 Tyson

"My favrtoute stratergy was only use full flush when you need to do a number 2 and when you need to do a number 1 use half flush. During the show I felt happy after the show I was happy. It was cool when he went "TAPSTAR doo doo doo doo." 
Dominic

Water Restrictions Lifted

10 December 2018

After the substantial rainfall event a few weeks ago, Level One Water Restrictions will cease effective from Monday 10 December. That rainfall has provided a sustained flow in the Shoalhaven River. This has again allowed Shoalhaven Water to pump water from the river to our off-creek storage dam.

Shoalhaven Water Director Carmel Krogh thanked Shoalhaven residents for embracing the water restrictions. “We are happy to announce that Level One Water Restrictions will be lifted from the Shoalhaven in time for Christmas,” Mrs Krogh said.

Restrictions were introduced in September when our main water supply at Bamarang reduced to 60 per cent capacity and this week's readings indicate the Dam is currently at 94.7 per cent capacity. In addition, there is predictions to indicate follow up rainfalls in the coming months and this will further improve the Shoalhaven’s water supply.

Updated 603 Certificate

10 December 2018

Shoalhaven Water are going live with an updated water billing system on Tuesday 11th December 2018. As part of the systems development and with the benefit of industry and user consultation, changes have been made to the current Section 603 Water Certificate. The new look certificate provides information as required under the Local Government Act 1993 in a concise and easy to read format.

Practitioners using Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) to direct settlement payments can refer to the biller code and payment reference details which will now be specifically shown on the Water Certificate. The processes for practitioners requesting a certificate remain unchanged and it is recommended that an update of charges and a final water meter read are sought prior to settlement.

New look water account soon to be launched

07 December 2018

To co-incide with a new billing system Shoalhaven Water has launched the first stage of a new look water account. Still easily recognisable as a Shoalhaven Water invoice, the account will reach most customers during the first quarter of 2019 and has been designed for reading simplicity. Feedback from customers has been to create a single page invoice with key information about water use, meter readings and summarised charges. To this end the account now has:

  • An extended and graphed period for water consumption to compare seasonal water use,
  • A due date for the next meter reading to enable customers to plan ahead,
  • Summarised concession and charge information

Customers have requested and it is planned to provide transactional information between billing periods.  Visit the Your Water Account Explained page for more information about the new water account.”

Problem lies with taps, not water supply

30 November 2018

Shoalhaven Water would like to reassure our customers that our water supply is safe and follows a strict testing regime with analysis undertaken in accordance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.   However, plumbing pipes and fittings inside homes can contribute to increased levels of metals such as copper, lead and nickel.  The articles in question indicate the issue mainly lays with water that sits for long period of time in the household plumbing and not in the water supply itself.

A google search will reveal a number of these articles for the interest of customers. To keep water fresh:

  •  only use water from cold taps for drinking and cooking
  • choose plumbing products that have been certified to WaterMark and AS/NZS 4020:2005 when renovating and building, and/or products with little or no lead  content.
  • flush cold water taps used for drinking and cooking for about 2-3 minutes after periods of non-use, such as returning from holidays. You can collect this 'flushed' water and use it to wash up
  • flush cold water taps used for drinking and cooking for about 30 seconds first thing in the morning

There is no need to have your water tested for lead. If you follow these good practice measures, you can reduce your potential exposure to metals in plumbing. Shoalhaven Water does not undertake water testing at household levels, customers that wish to arrange household testing can do so via a number of Labs registered and found online.

Level 1 Water Restriction to continue

23 November 2018

The intermittent falls of rain during October and November has resulted in lower consumption across the city. These falls have also enabled water supply to be used at times direct from the Shoalhaven River. Consequently the trigger levels to warrant an increase to the water restrictions has not been reached.  It is not anticipated that any increase to the level of restriction will be required until 2019.   

Water restrictions will remain in place until significant rainfalls are received in the catchment and the 3 Shoalhaven dams are again full.  

“With the summer fast approaching and together with the mixed rainfall forecasts; there is a need to increase the level of promotion about water conservation” said the Shoalhaven Water Business Manager Tony Holmes.  He said that “customers will see a greater level of communication about water conservation from mid-December. In addition, the use of Inspectors, Rangers and Private Security will actively continue to ensure compliance. 

This is necessary as the Shoalhaven experiences a large number of visitors.”  He said that “generally the conditions of Level 1 water restrictions have mostly been met by customers and it has not been necessary to impose any penalties to this point.  The conditions of water use at Level 1 are not too restrictive and customers can also apply for special variations if required.  This has been well received by customers and it is reflected by the good compliance results” he said. 

Council to proceed with a planning process to seek zoning of the Danjera Dam site for appropriate use including limited camping opportunities

19 November 2018

Council at its meeting on 13 November resolved to proceed with undertaking a planning process to seek zoning of the site for appropriate use based on a concept plan which includes limited camping opportunities.

Funding and commitment from both a Local and State Government level will be required to fully develop the tourism potential of this area," Mayor Findley said.

"It is proposed that Council needs to take steps to manage its land holdings in the short and medium term and look to the State Government as a major stakeholder and land owner to lead the development of a management plan for the Crown Land that could complement the Council's proposals. Public safety is also a primary concern for Council and as a result, a number of triggers have been established which will result in the closure of the camping ground at times when the area is considered to be unsafe."

She said that "triggers include closing the grounds in periods of "severe" fire danger levels and when the when the dam level is 4 metres below top water level.  It is proposed to continue to provide ranger and other security resources to enforce "no camping" areas and to monitor anti-social behaviour as well as install CCTV cameras and warning advice at appropriate spots.  Council will also classify the land owned by

Council as a 24-hour "Alcohol Prohibited Area" The Council owned land at Danjera is surrounded by Crown Land and National Park. It is imperative that the State Government develops a management plan for their land".

Further information can be found within the report to Council's Ordinary Meeting by following this link

Water consumption rebate for local drought affected farms

01 November 2018

As the Shoalhaven and South East NSW remains in drought, Shoalhaven Water is providing eligible rural or agricultural categorised water account customers with a rebate for higher water use. The assistance is available to those customers where water consumption has increased in comparison to previous averages and it will be available on application.

Applications can be easily done online and accounts will be calculated for adjustment by Shoalhaven Water. The rebate will apply for water accounts issued since 1 October 2018 and will continue while the south east is in significant drought. Other assistance packages are always available to help customers with maintaining essential water supplies to their connected properties and customers are encouraged to contact Shoalhaven Water for more detail.

Apply for drought assistance here

Level 1 water restrictions to continue despite some recent rainfalls

12 October 2018

Despite recent rainfall in the Shoalhaven area, Level 1 water restrictions remain in place. Some increase in flows in the Kangaroo River have  allowed Shoalhaven Water to top up Bamarang dam, while conserving the back-up supply from Danjera dam. 2850 million litres of water was released from Danjera dam prior to the recent rain, and this back up supply now sits at 59%.  The whole of the Shoalhaven continues to be served from Bamarang dam, as Porters Creek dam in the southern area is currently sitting at 49.3%.

River levels in the Shoalhaven River are being monitored daily, with some increase in the last 24 hours. Shoalhaven Water staff will continue to monitor the total inflows to Tallowa dam. Pumping from this supply can be maintained while ever the inflows exceed 90 ML/day. As of today (Thursday 11th) the inflow is above 500 ML/day.

The Bureau of Meteorology has declared an El Nino alert level this week, which indicates a hotter and drier summer.

Our Water Source

24 September 2018

Our primary reservoir for water supply is Bamarang Dam and it provides water to approximately 50,000 properties across the Shoalhaven. Water is supplied from Berry to Lake Tabourie. When the dam capacity is at its peak it holds around 3800 ML (megalitres) of water. In times of drought, and when river flows are low, we cease pumping from the river and rely solely on the water stored in our off creek storage.

Located at Yalwal, our backup water supply is Danjera Dam and it has a capacity of 7660 ML. When Bamarang Dam water level reduces to around 60% we release water from Danjera Dam into the Shoalhaven River so that we can top up our supply at Bamarang. During these times it is important that the community look for ways to conserve water.

Check out our current drone footage of Bamarang Dam and Danjera Dam.

Schools can help to be Water Wise 

11 September 2018

In conjunction with Children’s Week and Water Week which will be held on during 19-28 October 2018, Shoalhaven City Council and Shoalhaven Water are inviting schools to help be water wise by being creative.

As the Shoalhaven has just launched Level 1 Water Restrictions, Council has organised a “Tap and Win” competition aimed at the younger generation to educate them about being water warriors. Council is inviting school classes and teachers to think about being water wise and to enter the competition by making a video, song, poem, podcast or webpage on how the Shoalhaven can be more water wise.  Tap to Win!

Open to primary and high schools in the Shoalhaven LGA, classes of all ages are encouraged to be creative to share creatively how we can all save water.  Entries must be less than one minute and can be emailed to council@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au if under 10 MB with a Subject Line – Tap and Win Competition.  Video files must be on a disc or USB and can be sent to Shoalhaven City Council, PO Box 42, Nowra NSW 2541.

Shoalhaven City Council Mayor Amanda Findley said, “This competition is a great way for children to learn more about being water conscience.  It starts at an early age and this encourages classes to learn more about water and where it comes from.”  

The winning class will win a class pass to Swim and Fitness waterslides at your choice of Nowra, Ulladulla or Bay and Basin.

For more details about the competition, contact Melissa Andrews at Council on Tel: 4429 3411. Entries close 15 October 2018.

Protect our Environment – Notify Shoalhaven Water of any Sewer Leaks or Spills

10th September 2018

Sewerage overflows affect everyone and if left unreported, can worsen causing damage to our environment and risk public health.  Shoalhaven has an active oyster industry and any leak to the sewer system can be of significant impact to growers.  If you see or think there is an issue about sewer in your area please report it to Shoalhaven Water immediately on 4429 3214 or you can chat online with one of our friendly staff.

Two of the most common reasons for sewerage overflows include broken pipes and blocked sewer lines.   Broken pipes can occur in both Council’s sewerage system and on private property.  A problem with sewer lines might be identified by odour or unexpected wet areas during drier periods of time.   If unsure contact Shoalhaven Water so that we can investigate. 

Please remember that sewer overflows can occur, they are a serious source of pollution, a potential health risk and a significant impact to the community. Please report any concern immediately.   

Level 1 water restrictions will commence on 3 September following a long period of dry weather.

23 August 2018

Level 1 restrictions ban the washing down of hard surfaces such as paths and driveways and allows use of a hand-held hose at any time for gardening and lawn watering and washing of vehicles and boats.  Sprinklers, drip irrigation and topping up of existing swimming pools can be used, but hoses must be connected to a timer.

Mayor Amanda Findley said the Level 1 water restrictions are the first step to ensure we keep our water levels as steady as possible as well as prepare us for the summer months ahead.

“Shoalhaven Water reviewed all the relevant information on water usage, dam levels and long-term forecasts before making the decision to commence water restrictions to Level 1,” Clr Findley said.  “There are tried and tested plans in place that trigger the start of water restrictions.”

 “Water restrictions are about getting the balance right between trying to prolong the amount of water in the dams while still allowing residents to use water how they need it.”

Handheld watering by a hose is allowed at any time on any day.

If there is no substantial rainfall in the coming months, Level 2 water restrictions would be announced in the future.

Clr Findley thanked the community in advance for being water wise during the long dry spell.

“We all see the effect of the drought on our farmers and agriculture sector and with the level of dry fuel on the ground, there is the increased risk for bushfires which has already commenced in the Shoalhaven,” Clr Findley said. “Bushfires increase the need for water usage, so we need everyone to play a part.”

“Shoalhaven Water want to ensure we have water security for the Shoalhaven and no one can afford to be complacent.  It is up to each individual to play a part in watching every drop.”

Shoalhaven Water will continue to monitor dam levels and would review the restriction level again if more significant rain falls over the catchment.

“If any rain falls over the dam and the levels increase, Shoalhaven Water will review the water restriction level,” Clr Findley said.

“Shoalhaven Water and Council understands how important our water is and that’s why we want to ensure we preserve such a precious resource while still allowing residents to use water when they need it.”

Some commercial and community users have standard variations to the restrictions levels and all customers can apply for an approved special variation for their water usage if required for a particular reason. 

Further updates
Click here for Water Restrictions updates
Click here for the latest Water Snapshot

Shoalhaven Water seeks feedback on a Future Directions Report

23 August 2018

Councils Strategy and Assets Committee on 21 August considered a report from Shoalhaven Water on the Danjera Dam site. The report full report can be found at the Strategy & Assets Committee meeting agenda by following this link

Council resolved to place a Future Directions Report on public exhibition for 28 days and send to all stakeholders who registered their interest in the future of the camping area to seek comment on the proposed way forward.  Shoalhaven Water would consider the responses and again report back to Council through this process.

The public can also provide feedback or ask questions through the Council “Get involved” pages which will be available in the coming days. The “Get involved” facility can be found on the Council website here

Impending Water Restrictions

9 August 2018

Shoalhaven Water’s Director Carmel Krogh has confirmed that with no rain on the horizon the Shoalhaven is quickly heading towards its first restriction on water since February 2010. Level one water restrictions are just weeks away with Shoalhaven Water preparing to release back up water storage supplies from Danjera dam.

The continued dry spell is having an impact on the Shoalhaven River flows which is the trigger to implementing water restrictions. The Shoalhaven’s main storage supply at Bamarang is an off-creek storage dam and is reliant on water being pumped from the Shoalhaven River at Burrier to maintain its capacity. When the pumps are turned off at Burrier the Shoalhaven is reliant on the current dam capacity. When the level of water in Bamarang Dam again starts to decline, the next level of water restrictions is implemented.

We have been lucky over the last seven years with only the threat of restrictions occurring, but with dry predictions again forecast for Spring and Summer we must encourage the community to be conscious of water usage so that we can conserve our supply. For an overview on our water supply visit our Water Snapshot page.

Further updates
Click here for Water Restrictions updates
Click here for the latest Water Snapshot

Tap Dog talks Poop

7 May 2018

Tap Dog recently attended a ‘Clean up after your dog’ day reminding the community on responsible pet ownership. Did you know there are on the spot penalties for not picking up after your dog?

Follow the link to Shoalhaven City Council’s website to find out all the rules.

Upgrade of customer billing systems

13th April 2018

For some time now Shoalhaven Water has been working to upgrade its customer service, billing and reporting systems to a single integrated platform. This development will enable further advancements to be made with our e-business service activities and which customers have given us feedback as wanting to see some improvements.  Customers are increasingly wanting to do more business with us online.  

As previously indicated Shoalhaven Water will be soon be implementing the first stage of this project and this might result in some delays to the normal billing cycles during September and October. Customers may receive accounts later than normally expected but the reading of water meters will not be affected.  

To reduce any impact with the implementation of systems, some water meters might also be read early during August.  In these low number of cases, accounts will also be issued earlier than normal.   Once the billing system is fully implemented, billing cycles will return to normal. 

Shoalhaven Water has taken the opportunity to review the effectiveness of the current arrangement for pensioner account holders to have a 365 grace period to pay water accounts.  Over 89% of customers receive no benefit from this facility.  In order to provide a direct benefit to all the pensioner account holders, changes have been made to increase the pension rebate by $10.00 annually for water and $10.00 for sewer availability charges.  

This increased rebate will be applied each quarter to the account and it will be shown as a separate item on the account.  This change will commence on 1 July 2018.  The increase has been calculated to fully offset the interest which would normally accrue over the removed grace period for unpaid water and sewer availability charges.   This is a direct benefit to all pensioner account holders but now interest charges will accrue on all unpaid accounts after the normal due date. 

The first stage will also see some changes to the look of water accounts.  This is yet to be finalised but visit this website for more information closer to September.

If customers have any questions about the changes please contact us direct by email water@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au or phone 44293214.

Shoalhaven City Council join the WaterAid, Walk for Water Campaign

29th February 2018

During the week of 19 March - 23 March, Shoalhaven City Council staff joined the WaterAid campaign, Walk for Water.

Their aim was to walk 10,000 steps a day for 5 days to raise money to help provide lifesavings safe water to some of the world’s poorest communities. They did exactly this and have raised an amazing $3,233.52 for Water Aid so far.

The WaterAid website states ‘1 in 9 people worldwide still don’t have access to clean water close to home. For hundreds of millions of people, especially women and girls, that means long, dangerous and physically painful walks to collect water from sources that could be filthy. WaterAid is committed to helping communities gain access to clean water sources close to home, enabling women and girls to spend more of their time going to school, seeking employment, looking after children, and engaging in leisure activities’.

Donations can still be made to WaterAid for this campaign up until 9 April 2018. We like to thank everyone for their donations and support.

Supporting local community

19th February 2018

Shoalhaven Water is supporting a range of activities across our community and in a variety of ways. This done to promote our industry and raise awareness of the services we provide to our customers and general community.

Some of the programs include the ongoing installation of water filling stations at public areas across the city. Since 2010 Shoalhaven Water has installed 20 units and we aim to install three stations each year. Water treatment plant tours are undertaken at various times throughout the year and this program is a very popular activity which educates customers on the filtration and processing of our water supplies.

Shoalhaven Water also support a range of sporting events including annual golf day fundraisers as well as several major local triathlons with the most recent being held in Huskisson. With an eye to the future and development of youth, Shoalhaven Water has supported a local robotics team who will be attending a World Festival event presenting their project which developed a fitting for water downpipes that generate electricity from the flow of water.

REMS Transfer Main REF Addendum

24 January 2018

Shoalhaven Water has developed a REMS Transfer Main REF Addendum to provide further information following consultation with nearby landowners. The transfer main will be built from the wastewater treatment plant at Bomaderry, under Shoalhaven River, to the Nowra treatment plant, subject to Council approval. The REF addendum has been developed due to the alignment that was outlined in the original REF which has changed because of consultation with nearby land owners. In addition, the proposed hours of operation have also changed to minimise the project risks.

Shoalhaven Water will provide a display for public comment which will be located in the Nowra and Ulladulla Council Offices during 9-23 February 2018.

Click here to view the REF Addendum

Submissions can be made on the REF by emailing: water@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au

For more information, contact 1800 457 443 or email shoalhavenrems@ugllimited.com

2018 Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize

9th February 2018

Applications for the Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize is now open. For more information on how to get involved follow this link to the Australia Water Association website.

The winner of the competition is invited to participate in the international competition in Stockholm, Sweden, competing with over 30 countries. Applications close 11 March 2018.

Tapstar at Kids Day Out

15 January 2018

Tapstar & Dripette recently attended a fun filled day at the Annual Kids Day Out at Nowra City Turf Club where they felt right at home amongst the other superheros.

Keep an eye out for the mighty water saving duo at the upcoming Country Shows!

If you have a photo you would like to share please email it in to us today.

Water Restrictions Update

11 January 2018

The rainfall prior to Christmas and recent intermittent storm events have allowed the Shoalhaven water supply system to meet the demand over the peak period.

The combined storages of water for the city are currently at 92% of capacity. The Director Shoalhaven Water has said that “Although the Shoalhaven River flows have dropped over recent weeks the weather outlook and system storages together with operating conditions mean that water restrictions will not need to be imposed over the summer period”.

Customers are encouraged to monitor their water use always and visit our website for regular updates on water supply or sewerage services.