Construction has begun on an $11million sewage upgrade in the Cockle Bay area (NSW) which includes the installation of 33 kilometres of pipelines and a sewage pumping station.

The Cockle Bay Towns Sewerage Project is part of Gosford City Council’s strategy to improve sewerage services across Empire Bay, Bensville and Kincumber South.

The project will deliver services to more than 300 unsewered properties in the region.  

Gosford City Council Chief Executive Officer, Paul Anderson, said the project would generate a range of benefits for both property owners and visitors to the Cockle Bay area.

“The Cockle Bay area is a prime candidate for sewerage services due to the sensitivity of its local waterways and the critically endangered species which live in it,” Mr Anderson said.

“It will also assist in protecting public health and the local oyster growing industry by ensuring the water quality of the surrounding environment is pristine and protected,

“Due to council’s tireless lobbying, the NSW Government has awarded a $4.7million subsidy to the project, which will reduce connection costs to property owners by 40 per cent,” Mr Anderson said.

The subsidy was provided through the NSW Government’s Priority Sewerage and Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage programs.

Mr Anderson said the subsidy is especially beneficial to many property owners because continuing with their existing system is not a viable option.

“This is due to the risk to public health of wastewater seepage and ponding, which is caused by the operation of on-site sewerage systems that don’t meet current environmental health standards and guidelines,” Mr Anderson said.

“The cost associated with upgrading on-site systems in order to meet current standards is much higher than the cost to connect to the new sewerage system,

“We’ve been pleased with the response to the project from property owners so far, with around half already expressing interest in connecting to the new system when it’s available,” Mr Anderson said.

Most properties in the service area will be connected to a pressure sewer system, which consists of a pumping unit installed on the property that discharges into a pressurised pipe system.

Property works are expected to start in early 2016, with connection availability in mid to late 2016. 

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