The MidCoast Council's new solution to erosion on Jimmys Beach is now complete and undergoing a three-week trial period.
Council says the $4 million sand transfer system, stretching two kilometres down the Winda Woppa peninsula, is a longer-lasting and more cost-effective solution to erosion than previous responses.
The system's pumping station and underground pipeline will enable on-demand delivery of sand to Jimmys Beach.
The council has been trucking in sand to create a buffer in front of The Boulevarde, a strip of waterfront properties, at an estimated cost of $600,000 per year. Houses were threatened in 2014 when large swells tore chunks off the road.
Andrew Staniland, the council's coastal management coordinator, said he expected sand from the transfer system to withstand waves better than sand transported by truck.
"When we truck our sand all we can do is park the truck on the edge of the road and dump it. It's quite friable and moved more readily.
"When it comes through the sand transfer system the wet slurry is pumped on the beach at a slower rate. It forms and binds together better than trucking would ever do. And because we have ten discharge stations, we can allocate different amounts of sand and spread the load evenly," he said.
The council has created a stockpile of sand at the end of the peninsula. Sand will be collected during the council's ongoing dredging program, including sand cleared from the Myall River. The Myall River Action Group has described the pipeline as a "win-win outcome", after campaigning for years to dredge the river's eastern entrance to return it to its natural state.
Ken Garrard, the president of the Winda Woppa Association and a resident of The Boulevarde, said the pipeline was a "bandaid" solution, but a necessary one.
He has been calling for a "whole of system" review in Port Stephens so clogging and erosion along the coastline and rivers is minimised.
"We need to solve it, for one thing, so we don't have to pump 20,000 cubic metres of sand on the beach in perpetuity," he said.
Mr Staniland said the system would last for twenty years "without a maintenance regime". It costs $200,000 a year to run.
"That gives us a planning window ... where we can continually assess the situation to see what else we can do," he said.
Mr Staniland said the council was planning on planting more native vegetation on the beach once the buffer had widened.
"We won't be introducing that for the first few [sand depositing] campaigns.There's not enough width in that buffer yet to warrant us commencing," he said.
There would most likely be at least two deposits per year, he said, including the current trial and a deposit planned for later in 2019.