trouble reading this newsletter? Visit https://www.ymlp.com/pubarchive.php?sira
|Notices for Offshore Residents
of Pittwater, Australia
Pittwater Council are asking residents who are not connected to the
main sewer system to be sewer-wise when it comes to checking what goes
into their septic tanks or sewage systems.
Approximately 1200 households in Pittwater are unable to connect to
Sydney Water’s sewage system. These properties each have
their own sewage management system that needs to be maintained
regularly to minimize impacts to the environment.
Pittwater Council’s Principal Environmental Health Officer Robina
Warburton said that by following some basic guidelines, residents with
their own sewer systems could prevent problems occurring.
“Being familiar with the location and layout of your system, saving
water where possible and not loading the system with oils and food
waste can all help,” said Ms Warburton.
The Council is currently exhibiting its On-Site Sewage Management
Strategy for public comment. The strategy can be viewed online at
www.pittwater.nsw.gov.au or at customer service centres at Avalon and
The strategy is aimed at better managing the likelihood of pollution
from on-site sewage management systems. For enquiries about septic
tanks and sewage treatment systems contact the Council’s environmental
health unit on 9970 1141.
Ms Warburton said that properties currently using their own septic
systems but located within 75 metres of a Sydney Water sewer connection
point were required by law to connect to the sewer.
“Residents can obtain a Service Location Print from a Sydney Water
Quick Check agent to find out their nearest connection
point.” For a list of Sydney Water agents in the local area
Media contacts: Robina Warburton Ph: 9970 1141
West Pittwater Community
Association’s response to the Council’s draft on the
On-site Sewage Management Strategy
21 June 2009
PO Box 882
Mona Vale NSW 1660
Att: Mark Ferguson
cc Mayor Cr David James
cc Councillor Ian White
Attached please find the West Pittwater Community Association’s
response to the Council’s draft on the On-site Sewage Management
Strategy. Before specifically addressing our response to the
draft document, we wished to convey our unease about the current
As you are aware WPCA has a good track record of working with Council
and with the wider community in a constructive and positive manner as
evidenced by the $7,000 dollars raised for Pittwater High School solar
panels, the fight to save Currawong, bush regeneration, our ongoing
(but as yet to be productive) involvement with the Church Point Plan of
Management etc. These efforts are volunteered even though the offshore
Pittwater rate payers suffer from a lack of provision of basic services
for which the rest of the community is not expected to pay and take for
granted. I would like to add that our rates have gone towards
paying for much of this public infrastructure for which we receive no
benefits only threats of invasive bureaucracy and additional charges.
We must firstly express that we take offence at the bullying and
punitive tone that characterises the way the document is
This is an inconsistency in light of the open and future focused ethos
that Council appears to be promoting through initiatives such as the
Community Reference Groups.
It is also inconsistent with the professed goals of Pittwater 2020.
RESPONSE TO DRAFT UNDER CONTENTS HEADINGS IN BLUE
ON-SITE SEWAGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY
ON-SITE SEWAGE MANAGEMENT WITHIN PITTWATER
broad terms the WPCA supports the document as written for the
above items 1 - 3
WPCA is concerned that this item is making assumptions and limiting
options for the future best practice evolution of on-site sewage
management in Pittwater. In fact the stated aim of working in
‘partnership’ (4.2), is erroneous. A process purporting to this aim
requires communication that enables the evolution of agreed strategies
with the community. There has been much concern by community
members over the proposed ‘enforced from above’ approach. The WPCA
offers to host a workshop to do just that…engage a working
partnership. The document states ‘adopting a partnership
approach’ with no opportunity for development of this
Saying the words is not walking the talk….and just dismisses the
contribution the community could potentially make.
ACTIONS TO SUPPORT THE GOALS
database that council must already have from the previous inspection
system, and how risk is to be assessed requires clarification. The
educative aspect is supported, however the management system seems to
be about outsourcing and database management… and this appears overly
complex when seen in contrast to a single council employee/expert who
handled the inspection and improvement process of what seemed like a
direct and straightforward system. The old adage ‘if it ain’t
broke don’t fix it’, seems to have morphed into ‘if it ain’t broke… go
break it, then fix it!’
ON-SITE SEWAGE MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES
6.2.1 Submission of on-site sewage
management inspection reports
6.2.2 Registration for approval to
operate an on-site sewage management system
item needs to be looked at with community input. The awarding of levels
of risk seems to use Australian Height Datum in lieu of soil
composition and suitability.
Government Act 1993 and Local Government (General) Regulation 2005
installation and construction of an on-site sewage management facility
7.1.2 The operation
of a system of sewage management
ENFORCEMENT ACTION DUE TO SYSTEM FAILURE
Government Act 1993 (Section 124)
Planning & Assessment Act, 1979 (Section 121b)
Protection of the Environment Operations Act, 1997
Emergency Notice and Orders
FEES AND CHARGES
APPENDIX A – ON-SITE SEWAGE MANAGEMENT “INSPECTION REPORT” FORM
APPENDIX B – APPROVAL TO OPERATE APPLICATION FORM AND INFORMATION SHEET
the remaining items, suffice to say that there again needs to be some
of that open and accountable governance we all support Council to try
and implement. Again community input is the missing factor
the whole submission.
invite Council to defer the finalisation of this draft until adequate
community input has been attempted. We request that an
of time is granted. We look forward to assisting Council in
arranging a forum so that this important policy is properly considered.
also request a 90-day extension of the current inspection deadline, as
many residents did not realise that it was a drop-dead date.
will ensure adequate time to resolve ambiguities and for inspections to
number of our community members have made excellent personal
submissions on this draft. The WPCA commends the thought and effort
that submissions by members of the offshore community have made. In
particular, the points raised by submissions from residents who are
also involved with the WPCA are pertinent and we endorse them and
request Council’s particular attention: Jane Jobson, Alan Yuille and
Margie and Mick Morris. The points raised in these and other
submissions not cited, confirm for the WPCA that the draft in its
current form requires substantial improvement.
West Pittwater Community Association
submission On-site Sewage Management Strategy
Mr Mark Ferguson
Pittwater Council, NSW
June 22nd 2009.
I have a few comments to express relating to the proposed changes to
the treatment of waste water for those of us not able to connect to the
Sydney Sewerage System.
I understand the need for council to be involved the management of
waste water and in particular for those of us fortunate enough to live
offshore in Pittwater. I have been an ‘offshore’ resident for many
years and in that time I have seen a vast improvement in the
quality of Pittwater water and the overall self-managed sewerage
systems in private use. That is not to say it could not be better.
However in recent years the regular inspections by a council officer
have proved efficient, economic and a gentle reminder of the need to
maintain our sewerage system.
I also understand that council might want to be distant from the
inspection of such systems to avoid being held responsible for a
serious breach of quality and the possible ensuing claims. However I do
not believe that council can continue to abrogate it’s responsibilities
to the residents of Pittwater. The proposed changes to the management
of waste water smell (pun intended) of council shrinking from it’s day
to day responsibilities.
I am also concerned at the potential conflict of interest that might
arise if an independent inspection should find fault with a waste water
management system and that the proposed ‘repairs’ to that system might
be done with the inspector’s organisation or another organisation that
is related to the inspector. It has happened in other environments and
it may well happen here.
I am proposing that we all step back and review the management of waste
water. Set a deadline of, say, October 1st 2009, call a meeting to
discuss the concerns of residents and then make a binding decision.
Elvina Bay, NSW, 2105
If you still need
to do the inspection and don’t want to pay $200, give Gary or Kurt a
20 Glen Helen Grove
Dural NSW 2158
Telephone: 0418 278 895
Wanted to Buy -
fiberglass dinghy 11 to 13 ft with a registered trailer or
that can be registered with no problems, small outboard motor, oars,
rollocks, anchor and rope;
Wondering if anyone has a second hand one laying around in reasonable
Doesn't need to be anything spectacular.
If it has sails and mast even better.
Please contact Jim on 02 9981 1422
We am moving from the island at the end of July and am giving away most of
Come and take what you want!
Stuff include beds and matresses (single, double and queen) table and
chairs, leather couch, fridge etc...
For sale; a washine-machine ($120) and run-about (very good condition
fibreglass with one-year old Yamaha 6HP. $1500)
Ring Anastasia at 0420882296 or email at email@example.com.