Katoomba’s Aquatic Centre drains to where?

Every year after summer and upon the onset of winter, the outdoor pool at Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre, situated in Central Blue Mountains, is drained.  Its contents including the chlorine (likely sodium hypochlorite) is emptied.  The adjacent old plumbing between the pool and the dam, as well as repeated conductivity tests by the editor over multiple years under the Sydney Catchment Authority Streamwatch Programme point to the drainage being into the adjacent dam and into the Kedumba River; not into the sewer..

Reports of extreme water conductivity (off the scale… 500+ micro Siemens/cm) in the dam immediately following the draining the pool scale were sent to the Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA) , but nothing was ever done about it by the SCA.

This means every year, thousands of litres of chlorinated pool water flushes over Katoomba Falls and along the Kedumba River through the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

It is therefore no surprise then that the Kedumba River looks clean – Blue Mountains Council ensures it is sterile of  macro-invertebrates and river life.

Katoomba Sports & Aquatic Centre
Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia


The Outdoor Pool of  the Aquatic Centre…drained every winter
(Photo by Editor 20110516, free in public domain)


The Aquatic Centre was constructed conveniently adjacent to the Catalina Dam


Catalina  Dam, which in the late 1940s was glorified as a ‘lake’ by developer Horace Gates
(designed with a flotation levelling system interconnected to adjacent Katoomba Falls Creek)
Upper Kedumba Creek downstream of Catalina Dam


Upper Kedumba Creek downstream of Catalina Dam – close up


Katoomba Falls Creek naturally flows over Katoomba Falls


Katoomba Falls flows down the Blue Mountains escarpment into the Kedumba River


The Kedumba River flows through the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

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One Response to “Katoomba’s Aquatic Centre drains to where?”

  1. glenn humphreys says:

    good on you for raising this as a major issue.Unfortunately this type of pollution can be seen all over the mountains. Runoff from Katoomba street including all refuse ends up down Leura Cascades which flows to Sydney’s water supply.
    It again reaffirms the position that you cannot protect the World Heritage Areas without protecting the area above the escarpment. Its time there was a limit on development and a crackdown on littering etc.


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