Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Statement: EPA issues clean-up notice following odours in Botany

Media release: 23 June 2017

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has ordered a clean-up of sewage-contaminated water in Mill Stream after residents reported foul odours around Botany.

The EPA has received more than 20 reports of foul odours through its Environment Line this week and officers attended the Mill Pond Weir site and surrounding areas in Botany in response. These officers found that odours were emanating from poor water quality in the Mill Stream, downstream of the Weir.

Sydney Water also investigated the site and conducted sampling of the affected water, with results showing that some odours were likely caused by residual sewage from overflows that had occurred from their sewage system over the past few weeks.

The EPA has issued a clean-up notice that requires Sydney Water to undertake actions to manage odours and to clean-up sewage contaminated water of all affected areas of Mill Stream, and to complete these actions as soon as reasonably practicable. It also requires Sydney Water to prepare an action plan that outlines clean-up and mitigation measures, as well as monitoring to ensure the clean-up is effective.

Sydney Water has been working to clean the stream of suspected residual sewage this week by pumping contaminated water from the stream and discharging it to a sewer, as well as flushing the stream with clean water and carrying out odour monitoring.

EPA Regional Director Metropolitan Giselle Howard said in addition to overseeing Sydney Water’s response, the EPA is still working with Bayside Council to investigate if there are any other potential sources that may be contributing to the odours.

“We expect Sydney Water’s clean-up work to reduce the odour but our officers are still working with Bayside Council to investigate whether there are other sources contributing to the odour impacts on the community,” Ms Howard said.

“We will continue to monitor Sydney Water’s mitigation and clean-up efforts to make sure work on Mill Stream is effective.”

The EPA will also obtain further information from Sydney Water in relation to the sewage overflows and determine if any further regulatory response is appropriate.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at




Contact: Public Affairs

Page last updated: 23 June 2017