Bondi Beach to be sewage free by 2020, NSW government says

After more than a century of raw sewage draining into the ocean north of Sydney's Bondi Beach, the New South Wales (NSW) government has promised to stop it.

It will cost the NSW government $93 million to divert the sewage to a nearby wastewater treatment plant, work that won't be completed until 2020.

Sewage has been running into the ocean near Vaucluse and Diamond Bay since 1916, according to the Environment Protection Authority.

Utilities minister Don Harwin said it was important to bring the peninsula up to 21st century standards.

"The community agrees it's important to stop our untreated wastewater being discharged directly into the ocean," Mr Harwin said in a statement.

A Sydney Water report earlier this year found the three sewage outfalls in Vaucluse and Diamond Bay expose people in the immediate vicinity to "very high" health risks.

While water quality at nearby swimming beaches such as Bondi remains "good" or "very good" people in primary contact with the contaminated waters near the outfalls are exposed to "significant risk of high levels of illness transmission," the report said.

The three outfalls built between 1916 and 1936 are the last remaining untreated discharge points in NSW.

They include sewage from more than 10,500 people living in Watsons Bay, Vaucluse, Diamond Bay, Rose Bay North and parts of Dover Heights.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the outfalls are a legacy from Sydney's early wastewater network.

"While there's no easy way to fix them, we take our responsibility to protect the environment and public health very seriously," Ms Berejiklian said in a statement on Sunday.

Bondi beach, Sydney, NSW, Australia - November 1, 2015: People swimming in the fresh water swimming pools built in to the sea with waves rolling in to Bondi and breaking against the edge of the pool
Bondi Beach (file picture). Source: istock.com