We work to reduce our impact on the Hunter River

Providing coal export services means operating adjacent to and over Newcastle Harbour. We understand the importance of managing our potential to impact the Hunter River, and are committed to reusing as much water as possible.

How we manage water

Managing water is a careful balance between capturing it for operational uses like dust suppression, wash downs, firefighting systems and irrigation, and allocating storage capacity in anticipation of storm events for compliance with statutory requirements.

Each Terminal has a complex water management system comprised of drains, sumps, launders and pipes to transport the water to our tanks or ponds for storage and settling before reuse recirculation. These systems are managed by operational personnel and are regularly maintained.

The Hunter River estuary extends 64km inland from the Port of Newcastle and covers an area of 22,000 square kilometres. Preserving the quality of the Hunter River is an important consideration in our water management program. Although we undertake prudent planning measures, there are times when rainfall received is greater than reuse demand or storage capacity. In this event, excess water is released into the South Arm of the Hunter River in the Port of Newcastle via our licenced discharge or monitoring points.

Our commitment to sustainable water usage

Our Environmental Protection Licence (EPL) governs the criteria for water discharge at our terminals. In addition, we have implemented our own Pollution Reduction Program (PRP) to mitigate risks and prevent overflows.  The quality and volume of our discharges are recorded monthly in our environmental reports in accordance with our EPL.

Port Waratah is committed to continually investing in water management improvements, including discharge water quality and increasing our storage capacity to manage storm events. In 2017, we installed and commissioned a Control Discharge Filtration System (CDFS) at our Carrington Terminal. This allows us to reduce our impact on the Hunter River, as the CDFS filters water and removes most of the solids before clarified water is discharged from the site.

Find out more

Download our latest Sustainable Development report