Find out everything you need to know about water and sewer services on the Central Coast including information on water restrictions, dams, water catchments, pumping stations and sewer treatment plants, plus how to report faults to Council.
Water Wise Rules and water restrictions
We encourage all residents and visitors to conserve water by 'Living to 150L', using less than 150 litres of water per person per day. Water restrictions or Water Wise Rules apply, depending on the storage level in Mangrove Creek Dam. Check the current restriction level and find tips on how to check and reduce your water use.
Water and sewer services
Water is drawn from streams at Mangrove, Ourimbah and Mooney Creeks and Wyong River and collected in dams at Mangrove Creek, Mooney Mooney and Mardi, as well as weirs at Wyong River, Ourimbah Creek and Mangrove Creek.
The Mardi-Mangrove Link transfers water from Wyong River for storage in Mangrove Creek Dam. We have six bores that extract water from below the ground. Water also is transported into the system by the Hunter Connection. This two-way pipeline provides additional water for operational reasons, or during drought, for both the Central Coast and Hunter.
There are water treatment plants at Somersby and Mardi, and another at Woy Woy that treats water from groundwater bore fields in the area. These plants deliver top quality water to your taps.
We also have a comprehensive guide that can help with water and sewer maintenance and repairs including what to do case of a leak, discoloured water, sewer block or overflow.
For more information, please see our Central Coast Water Supply System brochure.
If you suspect a water main break, sewage overflow or any other fault with the water supply or sewer network contact us immediately on 1300 463 954. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Water and sewer pricing
Council's water, sewerage and stormwater prices are determined by the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). IPART sets the maximum prices that council can charge based on the efficient costs of providing those services.
For more information including council’s submissions and IPART pricing determinations visit the IPART website.
See Council's fees and charges.
Sewer and manholes
Our sewers have been designed to handle normal usage plus allowing for water that seeps in during wet weather. If wet weather infiltration becomes excessive, or there are illegal drainage connections, the sewer may overflow and possibly cause health and environmental concerns.
There is an inspection program to detect illegal connections to the sewerage system and identify maintenance needs. We also rely on community cooperation to maintain house service lines – which are the owners’ responsibility – and ensure that house stormwater is not diverted into the sewers.
Access to manholes
It is essential that Council has access to sewers for maintenance. Access manholes are often located on private property, so it is important that owners do not cover them. Manhole covers can be raised or lowered to suit property requirements. We may meet the cost of work if it’s not associated with development. There are special requirements for building near or over a manhole or sewer.
To help protect against overflows occurring inside a house, each property must have a gully trap. Make sure there are no objects placed on these, as it will affect how well they work.
Every property owner is responsible for sewer blockages on their premises between the sewer junction cut-in to the house. If there is a sewer overflow from a manhole or blockage in one of our sewer mains, please report this immediately on 1300 463 954.
Most sewerage is pumped through pumping stations to get it to a sewage treatment plant. There are a range of measures that have been put in place to make sure pumping stations don’t overflow. These include:
- installing dual pumps, so if one fails the other takes over
- dual power supply or generator supply to overcome power failure
- holding capacity inside the well and sewer, allowing minor problems to be addressed
- connection to a telemetry system to give early warning of system malfunctions.
WaterPlan 2050 is the long term blueprint for managing the Central Coast’s water resources. Its key objectives include:
- further enhance the current water supply system
- continue to use water as efficiently as possible
- develop additional future sources of water.
Council has formally endorsed the long term water supply strategy and work has now begun on implementing the key actions outlined in this plan.
View the WaterPlan 2050 Strategy.
Central Coast Council Strategic Business Plan
The Strategic Business plan clearly aligns with our first ever Central Coast Council Community Strategic Plan, which articulates our vision for the Central Coast. The Water and Sewer Strategic Plan identified three key actions – enhancing the existing water supply system, using water efficiently, and accessing additional sources of water.
Sewage treatment plants
Sewage is processed at eight treatment plants, each servicing its own local area. They are located at:
- Wyong South
- Bateau Bay
- Mannering Park
- Woy Woy
The only things that should be flushed down the toilet is human waste and toilet paper. Wet wipes can cause havoc in our sewerage system. Although often marketed as ‘flushable’, they don’t break down like toilet paper. Instead, they can turn into ‘fatbergs’ and lead to blockages in your pipes or our sewerage system. A fatberg is a congealed lump of fat, oils, wet wipes and other sanitary items.
A blockage in our system not only results in a costly repair and increase in operational expenditure but it increases the risk of an overflow into our local creeks, rivers and lakes. A blockage in your internal pipes could also cost you thousands to fix in plumbing bills.
In late May 2022, Standards Australia released test methods and criteria that wipe manufacturers must demonstrate in order to label wipes as flushable in toilets and does not cause blockage in sewerage systems. Whilst the standard is voluntary for wipe manufacturers, it must be used before the following symbols are allowed to be displayed on wipe packaging:
It will probably be about six months before wipe manufacturers have completed testing of wipes to demonstrate flushability, and have changed packaging to include this symbol. Until you see this symbol on wipe packaging, please continue to place wipes in the bin, not the toilet, even in the package describes the wipe as flushable.
Water storage levels
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Total Central Coast water usage
Current dam water storage levels
Water demand ML/week
For up to date rainfall figures, visit the Bureau of Meteorology and enter the following station numbers:
Norah Head - 061366
Mangrove Mountain - 061375
Gosford - 061425
Dams and catchments
Mangrove Creek Dam
Mangrove Creek Dam is the Central Coast’s largest dam, located 50 km north-west of Gosford in a narrow valley on Mangrove Creek. Constructed between 1978 and 1982, the dam provides 93 percent of the region’s water storage. Mangrove Creek Dam is a large storage dam, not primarily a collection dam.
Construction type: Concrete faced rockfill
Maximum capacity: 190,000 million litres (ML)
Height: 80 metres
Catchment area: 101km²
See our Mangrove Creek Dam Brochure for more information and historical photos.
Located 4km south-west of Wyong, Mardi Dam was built in 1962. Mardi Dam is an offstream storage facility, meaning it is not fed directly by a stream and must be filled by pumping water from Wyong River and Ourimbah Creek.
Construction type: Earth fill
Maximum capacity: 7,400ML
Height: 26 metres
Catchment area: 4 km²
Mooney Mooney Dam
Built in 1961, Mooney Mooney Dam is the region’s oldest dam and located around 10km north-west of Gosford. Water is pumped to Somersby Treatment Plant and then to residents.
Construction type: Concrete arch
Maximum capacity: 4,600ML
Height: 28 metres
Catchment area: 39 km²
Dams Safety NSW requires all owners of declared dams to submit an Annual Dams Safety Standards Report. The reports are required to determine compliance with Dams Safety Regulation 2019, and 2022. This is the first year that dam owners must submit these reports.
A catchment is an area where water is funnelled by the natural landscape into a creek, river, lake, into the groundwater system or to the ocean. Managing and protecting our catchments effectively is a key process for ensuring good raw water quality. The fewer contaminants reaching water in our dams, the fewer our treatment processes have to take out.
Access to the area directly surrounding the Central Coast’s dams is restricted. This buffer zone helps to prevent nutrient runoff and other substances that could affect the quality of water, from entering the dam.
Limiting access to the dams will help by:
- protecting raw water quality
- protecting large areas of bush land and plant and animal habitats
- protecting threatened plants and animal species
- preserving evidence of Aboriginal occupation dating back many thousands of years.
Mardi-Mangrove Link Project
Mardi-Mangrove Link Project is a key element of WaterPlan 2050. This project links Wyong River and Ourimbah Creek to Mangrove Creek Dam, via Mardi Dam.
The link means that during high flows, water can be transferred to the large Mangrove Creek Dam for storage, instead of allowing it to flow to the ocean.
The Mardi-Mangrove Link pipeline is the largest water infrastructure project undertaken on the Central Coast since the mid-1980s, when Mangrove Creek Dam was built. It involved building:
- a 2.1 kilometre buried water pipeline from Wyong River to Mardi Dam
- a 19 kilometre buried pipeline from Mardi Dam to the existing Bunning Creek Tunnel at Mangrove Creek Dam, running through Yarramalong Valley
- a new pump station at Mardi Dam
- a new pump station beside Wyong River
- associated works.
The Mardi-Mangrove Link will help to boost dam storage levels, speed up drought recovery and help protect the region against future extended periods of below average rainfall.
For more information about the Mardi-Mangrove Link project including project background, construction timeframes, environmental studies and management plans and school and educational resources, see our Mardi Mangrove Link Commemorative Booklet or contact Council on 1300 463 954.