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A water pollution incident occurred in January 2019 as a result of a break in a sewer rising main at 893 The Entrance Road, Wamberal, NSW 2260. This impacted Forresters Creek, a tributary of Wamberal Lagoon.
After locating the main break, Central Coast Council undertook actions to isolate the rising main and fix it immediately. In response to the overflow, Council liaised with the NSW Environment Protection Authority and undertook the following clean-up actions:
- Damming off the affected areas of the creek
- Pumping contaminated creek water back into the sewer network
- Mechanical aeration of the creek
- Flushing with clean water
Throughout the clean-up, Council undertook water quality sampling and kept the community informed of the situation via door knocks, media releases, public health warning signage and social media notifications.
Central Coast Council holds Environmental Protection Licence No. 1802 for the management of the reticulated sewer network associated with Kincumber Sewage Treatment Plant. This licence is regulated by the NSW Environment Protection Authority.
In response to the incident, Central Coast Council and the NSW Environment Protection Authority entered into an Enforceable Undertaking on 15 Jan 2020 pursuant to Section 253A of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.
Enforceable undertakings are a voluntary and legally binding agreement between the Environment Protection Authority and a party (in this case, Council) alleged to have breached the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. The agreement includes commitments by Council, in response to an alleged breach, that are designed to achieved improved environmental outcomes. The Enforceable Undertaking process is often used as an alternative to prosecution in the Land and Environment Court, as it diverts legal costs towards fit-for-purpose environmental projects.
The Enforceable Undertaking and progress reports are available below:
- Central Coast Council - Enforceable Undertaking Progress Report 1 - March 2020
- Central Coast Council - Enforceable Undertaking Progress Report 2 - June 2020
- Central Coast Council - Enforceable Undertaking Progress Report 3 - September 2020
- Central Coast Council has provided an email update to the EPA noting that all is on track as per previous progress report which was also advertised to the EPA dated 16/02/2021
- Central Coast Council - Enforceable Undertaking Progress Report 4 - March 2021
- Published Copy of the Enforceable Undertaking
- Central Coast Council - Enforceable Undertaking Progress Report - June 2021
- Technical Paper associated with Enforceable Undertaking Progress Report 5 point 47