Community
News & Events

Latest News

Latest developments affecting the water industry as well as updates on our activities in the Shoalhaven.

Yalwal Campground Remains Closed

4 June 2020

We understand that Danjera Dam is a very popular fishing and camping location and that many users are awaiting advice about when access will be reinstated. Over the last 6 months, access to this area has been restricted due to a number of successive serious safety concerns; low water levels, then fire and flood and most recently COVID-19.

Shoalhaven City Council is taking an informed, risk-based and balanced approach in determining the access to Danjera Dam.

The most serious safety concern at Danjera Dam is the continued closure of the adjoining parts of Morton National Park. The Park remains closed due to impacts of the bushfires.

Council understands that many users are eagerly waiting for access to be reinstated, but the risk posed by bushfire impacts in the adjoining National Park areas are deemed to be too great a risk to the safety of users and therefore the road into Danjera Dam will remain closed until further advised.

We ask that members of the community abide by the road closure signs. Please do not place yourself in harm’s way by venturing into these closed areas. Council Rangers continue patrols of the area and are issuing on the spot infringement notices to those found in the camping grounds for not adhering to road closure signs.

Council will continue to liaise with National Parks and Wildlife Service about the ongoing risk assessment of Morton National Park at Yalwal.

Although Yalwal Campground remains closed, there are plenty of other places to pitch a tent or park the van.

Please be aware that parts of our beautiful region remain impacted by the bushfires and will take time to recover. Some forest areas you may have liked to visit might be closed, so please check with NSW National Parks and State Forests before you visit. Our advice is to plan ahead and book your stay before you arrive, so you don't end up camping where you are not allowed, Council rangers regularly patrol beaches and camping grounds.

Visit www.shoalhaven.com for information on where to stay or call Shoalhaven’s Visitor Services team on 02 4421 0778 for accommodation bookings and visitor information.

Toilet paper substitutes threaten to block sewers

19 March 2020

Shoalhaven Water’s acting director Robert Horner is urging residents not to flush anything down their toilet other than toilet paper, as the product continues to be hard to find on supermarket shelves.

In a recent interview with South Coast Register's Stuart Thomson, acting director of Shoalhaven Water Robert Horner voiced concern about people using alternative products (such as paper towel, tissues, serviettes or flushable wipes) as there can be nasty consequences down the track, not only for themselves but the sewerage systems generally.

If you can't find toilet paper and have to use an alternative (such as paper towel, tissues, serviettes or flushable wipes), Mr Horner said residents should put those products in a plastic bag, tie them up and put them in the bin. Toilet paper is unique in the way it breaks down. With the force of one flush enough the turn the product into a mulch-like material which is able to flow through pipes very easily. Other materials like paper towels, even facial tissues, baby wipes, household cleaning wipes and other products that are advertised as flushable wipes - don't break down in the same fashion.

In the worst-case scenario other materials can clog up internal pipes and then lead to an overflow inside a house. If the products happen to make their way through into the sewer mains and then into pump stations, those types of products can clog pumps. Once pumps become clogged, pumping stations fill up and we can do environmental damage to our waterways or other environmentally sensitive areas.

Follow this link for more information on Sewerage Blockages

Weed Control – Flatrock Dam

16 March 2020
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Council’s environmental services team have identified the noxious weed Salvinia within Flatrock Dam.

In recent days, water released from Flatrock Dam has dropped the water sufficiently to alleviate the spread of the weed near the shoreline where it was most prevalent. Further inspection is being undertaken throughout the main body of the dam to identify any further free floating Salvinia for collection and/or treatment.

Water Restrictions Lifted in the Shoalhaven

13 Feb 2020

Shoalhaven City Council has lifted level one water restrictions from today.

The region’s water restrictions have been in place since September 2019, with the decision to remove restrictions being made in light of the recent significant rainfall event. Most of the Shoalhaven catchment has received in excess of 300mm of rain, resulting in all of Shoalhaven’s Dams filling to capacity, with Tallowa dam overflowing up to 2.3 metres above the spill way last Sunday.

Acting Director of Shoalhaven Water, Robert Horner explained that the rainfall totals have enabled Council to remove restrictions, only days before a proposal to impose tighter restrictions from late February.

“The Shoalhaven has received a significant rainfall event, at a crucial time when we were having to consider the transition to Level 2 water restrictions.” Acting Director Robert Horner said.

“The recent falls have seen a significant rise in our dams capacity, Danjera Dam being the most notable rising 6 metres from 40% capacity last Friday to 100% on Sunday. We are pleased to announce that the Shoalhaven now has all supply dams at 100% capacity.

“This has allowed Shoalhaven Water to make the recommendation to Council to lift all water restrictions from today. However, we hope the community will continue to ensure they make every drop count.” Mr. Horner said.

Water restrictions will be removed as of Wednesday 12 February, for further dam capacity updates please visit this website

Cleaning Residential Solar Panels Under Water Restrictions

24 Dec 2019

Shoalhaven City Council is currently under Level 1 Water Restrictions with residents being encouraged to make every drop count.

Under the restrictions the hosing down of hard surfaces is banned and an individual can receive a penalty notice.  However, considering the current situation with the fires Shoalhaven Water is temporarily relaxing this requirement to permit pressure washing of solar panels to ensure they remain operational.

Acting Director of Shoalhaven Water Robert Horner noted that Shoalhaven Water has received a number of requests asking if residents can clean their solar panels, following the ash fallout.

We’ve had reports of Solar Panels not working due to the caking of ash over them, particularly in areas that have received light rainfall.”

Solar Panels are usually considered a hard surface, however, due to the current situation we are experiencing we have decided to allow residents to clean their solar panels, using a pressure washer for the time being.” Robert Horner said.

Though I would like to remind residents this does not permit any other hard surface to be hosed down, such as driveways or walls, and all other restrictions imposed by Level 1 should be adhered to.” Mr Horner said.

Other relaxations may be considered as part of the clean-up process when this emergency situation has passed.”

The special consideration will only be in effect for a short period and residents are reminded to still be water conscious whilst cleaning their panels.

Level 1 Water Restrictions NOW APPLY

02 Dec 2019

Level 1 Water Restrictions are introduced under Council’s Drought Management Plan when Bamarang Dam is drawn down to 60% capacity.

Just a reminder that under Level 1 Water Restrictions the following applies:

  • No washing down of hard surfaces such as paths, driveways and paved areas.
  • Garden and lawn watering can only be done with a hand held hose or using sprinklers fixed to a timer.
  • Topping up existing swimming pools can be done with a hose fixed to a timer.

The 7,660 megalitre storage dam at Danjera acts as an emergency backup supply for the Shoalhaven River in times of drought. The combination of Danjera Dam and the off river Bamarang Dam storage acts to limit the effect of low flows in the Shoalhaven River to provide drought security for the Shoalhaven City water supply system.

On Wednesday 27th November, the first release was made from Council’s Danjera Dam via Yalwal Creek, which allows for the refilling of Bamarang Dam.

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Photo: Release of water through opening of one of the two outlet valves. The water is released from Danjera Dam via the green outlet pipe (LHS). The outflow is monitored and the outlet valve is progressively opened to release a flow equivalent to 90ML/day.

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Photo: Bamarang Dam at 60% capacity, prior to the Danjera Dam release.

A Water Restriction Variation Request is required for approval of any use of water outside of the restriction requirements. The online application is available here

You can explore the Shoalhaven Water website for further information on Water Restrictions, responses to frequently asked questions or an update on the current water situation. Alternatively, you are invited to contact the information hotline on 1300 662 246 or talk with our Customer Service Team on 4429 3214.

Water Restrictions

10 Nov 2019

Shoalhaven Water is advising the Community that Level 1 water restrictions will commence from Monday 2nd December 2019.

Acting Director of Shoalhaven Water, Robert Horner has communicated that  “Level 1 restrictions are about increasing the awareness of residents water usage. NSW is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts on record and everyone must rethink their water usage and look for ways to conserve water in and around their property. Shoalhaven’s dam levels are currently at 83 per cent but with little rainfall predicted and the peak summer period approaching, it’s time to implement a change.  Evidence from previous years tells us that water demand in the Shoalhaven, during the peak holiday period, can increase by up to 40 per cent on our off-peak demand. Water restrictions will remain in place until storages have recovered sufficiently, which will only occur with some consistent rainfall events.”

Under Level 1 Water Restrictions the following applies:

  • No washing down of hard surfaces such as paths, driveways and paved areas.
  • Garden and lawn watering can only be done with a hand held hose or using sprinklers fixed to a timer.
  • Topping up existing swimming pools can be done with a hose fixed to a timer.

Standard variations to Level 1 Water Restrictions are available to Commercial and Community users. These variations only apply during Water Restriction Levels 1 & 2. If you require the use of water for a specific purpose outside of the set restrictions, you are requested to apply for a Special Variation. The online application for a Special Variation Request is available on this website.

Please explore the website for further information on Water Restrictions, responses to frequently asked questions or an update on the current water situation. Alternatively, you are invited to call the information hotline on 1300 66 22 46.

National Water Week

01 Nov 2019

Shoalhaven Water celebrated all things water during National Water Week, with a focus on building customer awareness around the value of access to clean water in our everyday lives. Local residents took up the opportunity to attend a specialised tour of two of our largest facilities. The tour educated customers about where their water comes from and how it is treated before being supplied to their homes.

The tour also provided customers with an understanding of the Reclaimed Water Management Scheme (REMS). Shoalhaven’s REMS is one of the largest reclaimed water management schemes in Australia, having beneficially re-used approximately 25 billion litres of reclaimed water since its commencement in 2002.

This sustainability project highlights how wastewater is recycled and re-used to irrigate dairy pasture, sporting fields and golf courses. One of the attendees followed up the tour through expressing her appreciation and recommendation that the whole community take the time to attend such a valuable and interesting tour. You are invited to register your interest in attending a future tour through email (water@shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au) or via a call to our Customer Service Team on 4429 3214.

Shoalhaven River Festival

01 Nov 2019

Another year of festivities for our community at the Shoalhaven River Festival, and Tapstar and Dripette, along with our happy Customer Service Team engaged with thousands community members to share their knowledge of where our water comes from in the Shoalhaven. Thanks to all our Customers attending the River Festival, who have partnered with us to consider what they can do to conserve water in their daily lives.

It’s Time To Change The World

24 Oct 2019

The region is celebrating everything Shoalhaven Water as National Water Week kicks off for 2019. The week aims to build awareness around the value of access to clean water in our everyday lives.

This year’s theme is It’s time to change the world, a motto which Shoalhaven Water’s Acting Director Robert Horner believes Shoalhaven Water embodies, with their sustainable projects such as the Reclaimed Water Management Scheme (REMS).

“Shoalhaven’s REMS is one of the largest reclaimed water management schemes in Australia, having beneficially re-used approximately 25 billion litres of reclaimed water since its commencement in 2002.” Mr Horner said.

“Our local dairy farming industry has been the greatest beneficiary of the scheme with the majority of the reclaimed water from 4 of our sewage treatment plants being beneficially re-used to irrigate dairy pasture.  The reclaimed water is also used to keep our local sporting fields and golf courses healthy.”

“The REMS has been operating successfully for 17 years now, with four sewage treatment plants, in St Georges Basin, Huskisson, Callala and Culburra, providing about 6 million litres of high quality reclaimed water every day to the scheme”. Mr Horner said

While approximately 98% of NSW is currently in drought, Council’s need to consider all opportunities to save this valuable resource.  Currently, in the Shoalhaven 1 Million Litres (ML) of potable water is conserved each day by replacing its use with reclaimed water. This equates to around 6 billion litres since the REMS was established.

Reclaimed water availability is set to more than double as the next stage of the REMS project nears completion. 

“We are close to completing major upgrades to our Nowra and Bomaderry sewage treatments plants, which will increase the REMS capacity to 13 million litres per day, providing further irrigation opportunities to farms, sporting fields and golf courses. This reclaimed water would otherwise be discharged to our local rivers and to the ocean.” Mr Horner said

“We’re hoping National Water Week will encourage our community to reflect on the importance of water conservation and in turn consider what they can do to conserve water in their daily lives.”  

Council is encouraging residents to keep updated on Shoalhaven Water’s sustainable water projects and tips for water conservation on their website;

Patrol increases at Yalwal

3rd October 2019

Council’s Ranger Services are partnering with NSW Police to patrol the Yalwal area over the October Long Weekend.

These services are being implemented to provide confidence that conditions of use are being monitored and enforced. Penalty notices will be issued to anyone found not complying as required.

Visitors are requested to read signage in the area, and review information about rules of use, the historical and environmental significance of this area, and the role of Danjera Dam in the Shoalhaven's water supply.

This information will support your safety and enjoyment of the area over this weekend. For more information on the background of Danjera Dam Camping area click here

Recent rainfall delays Water Restrictions

1st October 2019

During mid September the Shoalhaven catchment received significant rainfall, with most areas experiencing in excess of 50mm over a few days. This increased the flows into Tallowa Dam and Shoalhaven Water resumed pumping from the Shoalhaven River at Burrier, to Bamarang Dam. As of today, the capacity of Bamarang Dam is 93%, Danjera Dam 84% and Porters Creek Dam 72%.

Given the improved situation with river flows and dam storages, water restrictions do not currently apply. Trigger levels, short and longer term weather outlooks continue to be monitored to ensure water restrictions, if required, are planned for in accordance with Council’s Drought Management Plan.

Please stay informed about the current water situation through this link to our Water Snapshot page.

Water Restrictions may be necessary in September

22nd August 2019

With the continued dry spell having an impact of the Shoalhaven River flows and which is the trigger to implementing water restrictions, Shoalhaven is again facing the possibility of restrictions. The previous water restrictions were removed in December 2018 following significant rainfall and with regular falls since that time, there has been no need to impose restrictions. This is despite the drought conditions being experienced in other parts of NSW. Water restrictions are imposed in line with the Shoalhaven Drought Management Plan and are triggered by the first release of water from the backup storage at Danjera Dam.

The Acting Director of Shoalhaven Water Mr Robert Horner said, “the total combined Shoalhaven dam storage level is at 85% of capacity and the outlook for rain in the near future is not strong. We are therefore preparing for water restrictions from mid-September on the basis that we receive no significant rainfall beforehand.” Mr Horner said, “the Shoalhaven River, through releases from Tallowa Dam, is the city’s main normal water source and pumping has ceased from the river at this time and the forecast is signalling further dry conditions”.

The aim of water restrictions is to balance between trying to prolong the amount of water in the dams while still allowing the community to use water how they need it “ he said.

Shoalhaven Water encourages the community to stay up to date on the latest water situation. Details can be found on the Shoalhaven Water website or by calling the information line 1300 662 246.

Shoalhaven Water seeks public comment – Alcohol Free Zone

7th August 2019

In late 2018 Council were provided with a report on the future directions for the Danjera Dam site following public exhibition and consultation with registered  stakeholders.  There were 7 recommendations within the report with one being to classify the Council owned land as a 24 hour alcohol prohibited area.  Most submissions received following the public exhibition was the concern relating to unacceptable alcohol fuelled behaviour of some users. Council therefore instigated the process to establish the Council owned land as alcohol free.  

Shoalhaven Water is undertaking actions in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993 to establish a defined area classified as an alcohol free zone. This process includes seeking public comment in respect of the proposal.  Examples of anti-social behaviour and incidents can be found by following this link

Details about the proposed zone, background to the Danjera Dam site at Yalwal including a timeline of discussion points can be found on the Danjera Dam pages of this website or follow this link.

The area proposed to be included within the alcohol free zone is contained in the discussion points is also on the Danjera Dam pages.  

The public are being invited to lodge written submissions or objections in respect of the proposal for a period of 1 month from Wednesday 14 August 2019.

Shoalhaven Water customers asked to contribute information to a community research initiative

29th June 2019

Whilst recent rainfall has meant that no water restrictions are currently in place, Shoalhaven Water is working with an independent research company to gain an insight into customer idea’s and suggestions for saving water. Shoalhaven Water understands that imposing restrictions can be confusing and sometimes a burden to our customers, both at home and in the workplace. 

We would like to know what people feel is working and where there might be an opportunity to change our approach. Shoalhaven Water is also interested to assess the effectiveness of restrictions and the communication during these times.

An independent research company (IRIS) will randomly contact customers to ask if they would like to contribute to the survey. This might be via telephone or email and it is expected that the survey will take no more than 10 minutes to complete. 

Customers who are not contacted directly but would still like to participate can do so online or by visiting one of the Council libraries or Administration centres. Alternatively, you can take the survey here

For more information about this research initiative contact us on 1300 66 22 46.

Water Restrictions

29th May 2019

Shoalhaven Water’s Director Carmel Krogh has confirmed that with no rain on the horizon the Shoalhaven is quickly heading towards water restrictions. Level one water restrictions may be just weeks away with Shoalhaven Water preparing to release back up water storage supplies from Danjera dam.

The continued dry spell is having an impact on the Shoalhaven River flows which is the trigger to implementing water restrictions. The Shoalhaven’s main storage supply at Bamarang is an off-creek storage dam and is reliant on water being pumped from the Shoalhaven River at Burrier to maintain its capacity. When the pumps are turned off at Burrier the Shoalhaven is reliant on the current dam capacity. When the level of water in Bamarang Dam again starts to decline, the next level of water restrictions is implemented.

With dry predictions again forecast for Winter the community is encouraged to be conscious of water usage. For an overview on our water supply visit our Water Snapshot page.

Further updates

Shoalhaven Water performance as the Utility provider to the city has been assessed.

15 May 2019

The National Performance Report 2017-18 for Urban Water Utilities is produced by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and it benchmarks the performance of 85 water service providers.

Shoalhaven Water is included in the benchmarking against all National and comparative sized utilities. The applicable results of each National Performance benchmarking process are shown each year within the Shoalhaven Water Customer Service Plan. This enables transparency of Shoalhaven Water’s performance on the services we provide for our customers.

Council at its meeting of 14 May 2019 were provided with a report summarising Shoalhaven Water’s performance against those key results provided by the BOM. Some of the highlights of particular interest for customers included;

  • Nationally - the Lowest Typical Residential Bill ($) – Water
  • Comparative sized utilities – 5th lowest Combined Operating Cost ($/property) – Water and Sewer
  • Comparative sized utilities – the lowest number of Property connection breaks and chokes – Sewer
  • Nationally – shared the highest % of Water Quality Compliance – Water Supply

A full copy of the Council report to the Strategy & Assets Committee can be found here.

The Australian Government Urban national performance reporting result including the full dataset of results can be found here.

Draft Delivery Program Operational Plan and Budget, Resourcing Strategy and Fees and Charges - Now on Exhibition

13th May 2019

Shoalhaven City Council’s Draft Delivery Program Operational Plan and Budget, Resourcing Strategy and Fees and Charges, is now on exhibition until the 6th June 2019. To view the document, follow this link to Council’s Get Involved Page.

Hard copies of the documents are also available at Nowra and Ulladulla Administration Centres.

Shoalhaven Water proposed fees and charges adopted for inclusion in the draft 2019/20 budget

2nd May 2019

Council at its meeting on 30 April 2019 resolved to accept the proposed availability and usage charges for inclusion in the draft budget. The proposal includes no increase to water charges and a less than previously forecast increase to the sewer availability charge. Public exhibition of the charges and community information evenings will commence shortly. Details of the charges can be viewed here.

Details of the community information evenings are;
Nowra – Nowra School of Arts - Thursday 9 May - 6 to 8pm
Berry – Berry School of Arts - Thursday 16 May - 6 to 8pm
Ulladulla – Ulladulla Civic Centre - Tuesday 21 May - 6 to 8pm
Culburra Beach – Banksia Hall - Wednesday 22 May - 6 to 8pm

Shoalhaven Water wins Best Tasting Tap Water in NSW/ACT

5 April 2019

Shoalhaven Water has beaten other finalists to win the 2019 Best Tasting Tap Water for NSW and the ACT. This competition is run annually by IXOM at the NSW Water Industry Operations Association of Australia conference. IXOM is an industry leader in water treatment across South East Asia and the Americas.

Over the coming months, water authorities from other regional and metropolitan areas will participate in state heats where water samples will be judged on qualities like colour, clarity, odour and mouthfeel during blind taste tests. The state winners will then compete for the National title and go on to represent Australia at the International Water Tasting competition.

Mr Craig Mathisen the Water Industry Operations Association, Chief Operations Officer said that “members of the general public would probably be surprised to learn the complexities involved in delivering high quality water to our taps each day”. This competition recognises water quality but also the hard work by those Water Operators who ensure that safe, clean drinking water is available to the community.

The Director of Shoalhaven Water Carmel Krogh has said “these results are fantastic recognition for the consistent hard work of the team managing Shoalhaven’s water supply. It is also an exciting way to raise awareness of the quality of our drinking water”.

Supporting WaterAid

19 March 2019

WaterAid is an international not-for-profit organisation that maintains a vision for a world where everyone, everywhere has safe water, sanitation and hygiene. Shoalhaven Water are proud ongoing supporters of WaterAid.

Visit WaterAid to find out how you can help.

World Water Day

22 March 2019

Today, billions of people are still living without safe drinking water with households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive. UN Water Sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal clear: water for all by 2030 and by definition, this means leaving no one behind.

This World Water Day is about tackling the water crisis by addressing the reasons why so many people are being left behind. On Friday 22 March, spare a thought of those less fortunate than us. Visit www.worldwaterday.org to find out more.

Woollamia Sewerage Scheme Information Session

21 January 2019

Lady Denman Maritime Museum, Dent St Huskisson
Saturday, 9 February, 9:30am - 11:30am

Community members are invited to attend a drop-in session in Huskisson to learn more about the Woollamia Sewerage Scheme. Engineers will be there to provide a range of information including:

  • The extent of the scheme.
  • The components of the scheme.
  • How a pressure sewer system works.
  • The design process.
  • Land owner inputs required.
  • Potential and ongoing costs to land owners.
  • Program of the works to completion.
  • Any other questions land owners may have regarding the scheme.

For more information on the scheme simply follow this link.