The NSW Minister for Finance Andrew Constance has announced plans to improve wastewater systems in Kurnell and nearby areas after issues experienced by customers last month. The new plans include new valves, controllers and telemetry systems.

Following a period of heavy rain over the weekend of 29 and 30 June, the vacuum wastewater system malfunctioned due to high volumes of stormwater entering the system which led to intermittent service loss for customers.

Mr Constance said that Sydney Water had developed a plan to improve the performance and reliability of the system.

“Last month I instructed Sydney Water to conduct a comprehensive review into how to improve the wastewater system in Kurnell, so the issue like the one last month does not happen again,” Mr Constance said.

“I am pleased Sydney Water has already begun work on quick corrective actions to be delivered by next month, with a specialist engaged to undertake repairs and to optimise the system.

“A range of priority improvements have also been identified to be delivered by February 2014, with $3 million to be invested on new valves and new controllers that are externally mounted above flood level, as well as wireless telemetry to improve reliability in the system.”

Sydney Water Managing Director Kevin Young said the utility will work closely with residents, local councils and the NSW Government while a long term solution is delivered.

“Affected customers are already receiving rebates on their wastewater service charge and we will continue to communicate with the customers and other stakeholders to minimise the work impacts while improvements are made to the system,” Mr Young said.

“We are developing a long term strategy by June 2014 which will identify ways to further increase the wastewater system’s reliability and performance.”

Member for Cronulla Mark Speakman said he was pleased to see Sydney Water’s plans and measures to improve the wastewater service are well underway.

“Our local communities deserve to have a reliable wastewater system and I look forward to seeing Sydney Water deliver on these improvement plans,” Mr Speakman said.

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