Harbourside Beaches Water Quality Report Released

Each year the NSW Government releases a water quality report which monitors the water quality of 250 NSW swimming sites.  The State of the Beaches report 2016 – 2017 was recently released.

The good news is that Sydney’s North is the cleanest area for a swim, with 91 per cent of sites rated good or very good.  Greenwich Baths and Woodford Bay were rated good.  The bad news is that Tambourine Bay was rated poor.

Lane Cove Council maintains a number of Gross Pollutant Traps in the catchment to reduce the impact of storm water to the waterways. In 2016–2017 more than 40 cubic metres of material was prevented from entering the river.

Greenwich Baths

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Greenwich Baths reopened on 30 September 2017 after renovations.  This is a popular swimming spot in the Lane Cove Council area and they also run a Nippers programme. The Baths have a netted swimming area and a sandy beach.

The Beach Suitability Grade of Good indicates microbial water quality is safe for swimming most of the time but may be susceptible to pollution after rain from several potential sources of faecal contamination, including discharge from Lane Cove River. Enterococci levels increased with increasing rainfall, often exceeding the safe swimming limit in response to 5mm of rainfall or more. The site has been monitored since 1994.

Tambourine Bay

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Tambourine Bay is in the lower Lane Cove River. The swimming enclosure has been removed and there is now a beautiful picnic area. The Beach Suitability Grade of Poor indicates microbial water quality is susceptible to faecal pollution, particularly after rainfall and occasionally during dry weather conditions, with potential faecal contamination from storm water and discharge from the Lane Cove River. Enterococci levels increased with increasing rainfall, occasionally exceeding the safe swimming limit after little or no rain, and regularly after 5mm or more of rainfall. The site has been monitored since 1994.

Woodford Bay

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Woodford Bay is another popular swimming spot for kids.  Woodford Bay is also a place of great historical importance.  The first record of contact between the British and the Cameraygal people took place at Woodford Bay on 14 February 1790.

Woodford Bay is also listed on the Heritage Register.  It is one of the 3 remaining examples of timber “shark” paling harbourside baths left in Sydney.

This site is a 20 by 25 metre swimming enclosure on the western side of Woodford Bay in the lower Lane Cove River. The Beach Suitability Grade of Good indicates microbial water quality is safe for swimming most of the time but may be susceptible to pollution after rain from several potential sources of faecal contamination including discharge from Lane Cove River. Enterococci levels increased with increasing rainfall, often exceeding the safe swimming limit in response to 5mm of rainfall or more, and usually after 20mm or more. The site has been monitored since 1994.

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The most important fact to take away from this report is that swimming in harbourside water areas after rain is not a good idea.

Cover Photo:  Credit Source Greenwich Bath Facebook Page


 

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