Mea Culpa. Update on Pee Poo and Phosphates

My friend Stan, a retired scientist, with a PhD in chemistry, has corrected me on my post about all of our ’Night soil’ being pumped out to sea.

Apparently, the sewerage treatment works located around Sydney and Melbourne, do in fact seperate, compost and then sell-on the processed sewerage

This processed human poo is called ‘biosolids’ and has been supplied to specific farms in a very controlled and supervised manner for a long time. Who knew?

“Melbourne Water (MW) produces sufficient biosolids each year to provide a useful soil supplement for approximately 30,000Ha of farm land, based on a re-application every 5 years in accordance with Environmental Protection Authority Victoria (EPAV) Guidelines.”

“Farmer demand for Sydney Water’s biosolids program – which turns human waste into nutrient-rich fertiliser – is currently outstripping supply. The program, which has now been running for 20 years, is known to increase crop yields by 20-30%. “

You can read the full article here ; <>

Thank you Stan. I found it really interesting. I like to be corrected when I get things wrong, because then I can pass on the correct information, so that we all have a better grasp what is going on. Perhaps everyone else out there in the ‘real’ world knew all about this? I live in a self made, environmentally sustainable, romantic bubble here, fairly well insulated from the lies, grossness, violence and political corruption stories that fill the nightly news. I just don’t want to watch it. I look instead for more positive and uplifting stories, but they are harder to find. If it bleeds, it leads, was never so true.

I googled Sydney Water and found this simple diagrammatic explanation;


I remember swimming in the ocean off manly when I was a kid, and there being visible particulates of raw sewage in the ocean at certain times depending on the tide and currents at the time. It was pretty gross. Sewage was still being dumped into the ocean off Sydney, up until around the year 2020. Somehow, I missed seeing these news items at the time.“Surveyor Daniel Fitzhenry said before the deep ocean outfalls, Sydney’s sewage was pumped off cliffs near some of Sydney’s most famous beaches.”  “ Manly was like a septic tank, it was dreadful,” he said.  

“There were huge surface plumes and the beaches adjacent were really polluted.”


“A spokesperson for Utilities Minister Don Harwin said work would start in 2019 and finish in 2020.”

So there is very slow progress and things are getting better bit by bit. But it appears to be glacial in its progress at times.