Catchment fires pose no risk to Warragamba water quality at this time

Catchment fires pose no risk to Warragamba water quality at this time

03 December 2019

Fires burning in Sydney’s catchment do not pose a risk to water quality in WaterNSW dam storages at this time.

WaterNSW is liaising with Rural Fire Service and National Parks’ fire-fighting personnel working to manage the blazes.

There are a number of fires within the Warragamba Special Areas, including blazes on the western side of Lake Burragorang, as well as sites south of Katoomba.

The potential for water quality impacts on dam storages will depend on the extent and intensity of the fires and timing of the next significant rainfall.

WaterNSW operational staff are planning ahead to minimise any potential storage impacts.

Experienced water quality scientists use highly sophisticated, real-time monitoring technology and models to predict where in the storage water quality may change.

This combined with the capability to select water from various dams and from varying storage depths, ensures that optimal quality water is supplied to Sydney Water and local councils for treatment into safe drinking water.

Precautionary planning also includes the deployment of booms and curtains to intercept or isolate any inflows that pose a water quality risk.

No significant rain is forecast for catchment in coming days and WaterNSW is monitoring Lake Burragorang to detect early warning of potential impacts.

Recreation areas in affected areas have been closed.

As part of its prevention activities, WaterNSW has undertaken 1125 hectares of hazard reduction burning over the last year including strategic burns around key water supply assets.

A further 390km of fire breaks have been maintained over the past two years to help contain fires.


Tuesday 19 October
2,426,378 ML
2,581,850 ML
9,092 ML
1,299 ML
4,444 ML
Tuesday 19 October