Water quality monitoring
The Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA) operates an extensive water quality and quantity monitoring network as part of our catchment and storage management programs, and for customer quality assurance and public health reporting.
In addition to routine monitoring, special programs now deal with protozoa and incidents, such as oil spills. We also monitor for pesticides and blue-green algae.
Monitoring for the protozoan parasites Cryptosporidium and Giardia is carried out daily at Warragamba Dam and Broughtons Pass Weir, twice per week in Prospect Reservoir, weekly in Wingecarribee Dam and Werriberri Creek (the nearest inflow to Warragamba Dam), and monthly in the Wollondilly River. Automatic samplers test for protozoa during storm events at seven locations on inflows to Warragamba Dam.
The SCA has introduced hotspot protozoa monitoring in carefully chosen places around the catchments, such as below sewage treatment plants, sale yards and piggeries.
Following recommendations of the 1998 Sydney Water Inquiry, additional protozoa testing to complement our own regime is carried out by an independent laboratory.
The SCA has developed contingency and emergency response plans to deal with incidents such as suspected or actual pollution, major floods, or any water quality problems.
The SCA is continuously increasing our scientific knowledge of the behaviour of water in our dams and storages. This will enable us to ensure only the highest quality water is drawn off for supply to our customers.
Each year the SCA publishes an annual water quality monitoring report containing water quality data collected from our catchments and storages.