Water discolouration spotted near Bombo Treatment Plant explained

The discoloured water close to the Bombo Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The discoloured water close to the Bombo Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Brown tinted water was spotted from the air at Bombo Headland earlier this week.

The discoloured ocean water was in close proximity to the Bombo Wastewater Treatment Plant outfall.

Sydney Water were contacted and told the Kiama Independent the discolouration was likely caused by an equipment fault which occurred on Monday.

“We responded immediately, shutting down the impacted equipment and redirecting flow to a standby unit so the equipment could be repaired,” a Sydney Water spokesperson said.

“Our plant is designed with safeguards in place that allow operational flexibility so we can repair and maintain equipment while continuing to produce treated wastewater within guidelines.”

Sydney Water also wished to reassure the Kiama community that wastewater treated by its Bombo Wastewater Treatment Plant remains within licence guidelines and fully disinfected.

“Importantly, the water discharged from the plant was always disinfected and met the conditions of our Environmental Protection Licence, so although it was discoloured there was no risk to public health or the environment,” the spokesperson said.

“We have a number of instruments which continuously monitor the water quality at Bombo Wastewater Treatment Plant. All of the indicators we monitor show that the water remained within our licence limits, which protect the environment and public health.”

Built in 2009, the treatment plant uses around 50 million litres of what is described on the Metropolitan Water Directorate website as “very highly treated wastewater” in its industrial processes each year.

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