Council clarifies facts surrounding owl death

Georges River Council 12/07/2019

In the St George Leader newspaper on Wednesday 10 July 2019, a news article titled ‘Dirty state of creek suspected. Dead owl a water warning’ quoted a Sydney Water spokesperson who stated:

“A third party undertaking roadworks nearby damaged a Sydney Water sewer line, which then overflowed due to heavy rainfall that evening”.

In this instance the Sydney Water spokesperson has misquoted that there was damage caused by a third party to the sewer line. At no time was any damage caused to the sewer main.

Many Sydney Water sewer assets within the Georges River local government area are aged, and overflows to natural water ways, including Dairy Creek, occur on a regular basis.

Council has proactively reported these incidents to Sydney Water’s Area Manager numerous times in the past, and in some instances Sydney Water has responded by repairing damaged pipes and joints.

On 25 June 2019, following heavy rainfall, Council became aware that the joints along the Sydney Water sewer main were leaking into Dairy Creek. Council immediately informed the Sydney Water Emergency Response team and the NSW EPA to request appropriate action to rectify the situation.

Both the NSW EPA and Sydney Water Emergency Response staff were on site on the evening of 25 June 2019, whereupon they decided to commission Council’s newly constructed sewer main to resolve the problem. The old sewer main across the creek was removed to ensure no further sewage spills occurred into the creek.