Each year the NSW Government releases a water quality report which monitors the water quality of 228 NSW swimming sites. You can read the full The State of the Beaches Report 2021 – 2022 here.
In 2021–2022 swimming sites in NSW performed well with 80% of monitored swimming sites graded as Good or Very Good, including 116 ocean beaches. These sites were suitable for swimming for most or almost all of the time. While this is a great result, it is a slight decline in performance from the previous year and reflects the extended wet weather conditions experienced in many coastal areas, including the wettest summer in NSW since 2012 and significant flooding events. Many estuarine and lake and lagoon swimming sites did not perform as well as ocean beaches, being more susceptible to impacts from wet weather conditions.
The good news is that Sydney’s Northern ocean beaches Manly to Palm Beach were rated good or very good.
The report also looks at harbourside beaches.
Greenwich Baths, and Woodford Bay were rated good.
Tambourine Bay was rated poor (it was rated poor last year).
Lane Cove Council maintains a number of Gross Pollutant Traps in the catchment area to reduce the impact of stormwater on the waterways.
Greenwich Baths is a popular swimming spot in the Lane Cove Council area and they also run a beach safety programme. The Baths have a netted swimming area and a sandy beach.
Greenwich is now open for the summer season Monday to Sunday 7 am to 6 pm
Tambourine Bay is in the lower Lane Cove River. The swimming enclosure has been removed and there is now a beautiful picnic area. It was rated poor.
Woodford Bay is another popular swimming spot for kids.
The first record of contact between the British and the Cameraygal people took place at Woodford Bay on 14 February 1790.
Woodford Bay 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.
Many Lane Cove families like to swim at Northbridge Baths.
Northbridge Baths Bay was downgraded to Poor (from Fair last year) due to a decline in microbial water quality.
Swimming After Rain
The most important message to take away from this report is that swimming in harbourside water areas after rain is not a good idea.