Burwood Beach WWTW UV Upgrade


Burwood Beach WWTW UV Upgrade diffuser pic

Diffusers in the aeration tank at Burwood Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Project overview (project now complete)

Burwood Beach Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) is Hunter Water's largest treatment plant. The treatment process consists of preliminary and secondary treatment, before release to the ocean 1.5kms off-shore.

Last year a State Government report rated all seven local Newcastle ocean beaches as 'Very Good' or 'Good'. Merewether and Burwood North and South performed well. It was noted, however, that water quality declined when more than 20mm of rain fell, and occasionally an unusual mix of ocean currents and winds can combine to push off-shore water towards the beach.

Hunter Water is preparing to install a UV disinfection system at the Burwood Beach WWTW to further improve water quality at Newcastle's beaches. The state-of-the-art system will use ultraviolet light to destroy bacteria, viruses and protozoa.

Design of the new UV system has commenced and construction will be completed in 2016.

For more information on the existing treatment process at Burwood Beach WWTW click here.



Under the Beachwatch program, monitoring of Newcastle's beaches occurs every 6 days. The locations near the Burwood Beach WWTW are sampled every 3 days during the bathing season (1 October to 30 April each year). There is also a Beachwatch forecast for stormwater pollution issued for Hunter beaches every morning based on local rainfall data. Beachwatch data indicates that Newcastle's beaches are amongst the cleanest in NSW and have consistently been for the past 13 years. Water quality is usually rated as "Good" or "Very Good".

Details of beach quality conditions can be found at http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/beach/ar0910/hunter.htm

Community Reference Group

A Community Reference Group (CRG) was established in 2007 and provides Hunter Water with guidance on issues of concern to swimmers, surfers and the general community with regard to the Burwood Beach WWTW. The group comprises an independent Chair and representatives from:


  • Hunter Community Environment Centre
  • Merewether Heights Public School P&C
  • Merewether National Surf Reserve Committee
  • Merewether Surf Life Saving Club
  • OceanWatch
  • Property Council of Australia
  • Surfrider Foundation Australia (Newcastle Chapter)
  • 2 individual customer representatives

Contact us

Your comments and feedback are valuable.  If you would like to speak to us, or find out more about this project, please email or call Hunter Water during business hours on 1300 657 657.

Fast Facts

Project Location
Scenic Drive, Merewether
Project Duration
Now complete
1300 657 657

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