Inquiry into Water Waste Management NSW

You may have read in today€™s news about an Inquiry into the Management of Domestic Wastewater. The guidelines were made 15 years ago and this inquiry is to look at the updates required and what legislation is required to get the job done more efficiently.

The inquiry was propelled into action by the devastation of the Oyster farms in NSW and Qld from the QX disease a few years ago. This inquiry is about sewage and waste management. It is looking at the appropriate training and licensing of plumbers, engineering and planning firms, design and certification of sub-surface drip irrigation and inspections of existing on-site sewage management systems.

See NSW Parliamentary Media release first

Definition: Market Garden  – Small growers who are selling at Farmer€™s Markets, roadside, tail-gate marketing (back of a truck), farm stands and pick-your-own.

“You are finding in a lot of market gardens … best practice isn’t being used [but] it certainly is not the majority,” said Camden Liberal Party Parliament member Chris Patterson, who acted as the chairman of the inquiry.

You may read the Final report  and PDF of this report.

The media took the findings of this Inquiry and focussed on Market Gardeners using wastage water on their crops.  The ABC report.

The issue discussed in the ABC report referred to €˜some€™ Market Gardeners using wastewater to water their crops. We do not get supply from Market Gardeners as we do not know how they are maintaining their crops. Market gardeners are usually taking their produce to Farmer€™s Markets and Market Days.

The Market Gardeners are too small to bring their produce to the Flemington Markets  and they produce a limited capacity. Far too small for the needs of Harvest Hub members.

The majority of the Harvest Hub growers, with whom we have a close relationship, are in the upper Nepean/Hawkesbury area in the north-west (Freeman’s Reach, Richmond, Windsor) and they get their water directly from the Hawkesbury River supply.

They are not €˜Market gardeners€™ and have substantial growing areas so that they are able to supply the quantities we require.

Note please that there is reference in the Inquiry about Oyster Farming QX disease which is a parasite in NSW and QLD in the Estuaries (lower areas of the river system), not a virus or bacteria, which instigated this Inquiry. There is no known reason for the disease but it can be seasonal and in rainy periods the run-off in the estuaries. So general water quality is what the Inquiry is looking at and how to update the rules, regulations and training for professions associated with water quality projects. Our Hubs in Brooklyn will affirm the devastation to the Oyster industry due to high water pollution in past years through no fault of their own we might add.


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