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'Good' report for 93 percent of Coast's ocean beaches

By Central Coast Council
Posted: 1 Nov 2021
Credit: Central Coast Council
The State of the Beaches Report - the annual rating of ocean and estuarine swimming sites across NSW using Beachwatch results - has been released for 2020-21 and the Central Coast has performed well overall.

A 'Good' rating for water quality and suitability for swimming was achieved at 14 out of 15 (93 percent) of the Central Coast's ocean beaches and all of the region's ocean baths.

Central Coast Council Director Environment and Planning, Scott Cox said the report is an important resource to help Council manage water quality at swimming sites across the region.

"We welcome the State of the Beaches Report for 2020-21 and are pleased to see that the vast majority of our beaches are performing well in terms of water quality and suitability for swimming most of the time," Mr Cox said.

"Improvement is needed for Terrigal Beach, which moved from a 'Good' to 'Poor' rating, and at our estuarine swimming locations.

"We have improvement measures in place for Terrigal Beach and it is important to note that the site was suitable for swimming 87 percent of the time during dry weather and that samples for the 2020-21 period were predominately taken following rain events.

"Rain can cause our waterways to be impacted by stormwater pollution and this is why we strongly advise against beach swimming following rain for a period of at least 24 hours.

"Estuarine sites - such as our coastal lagoons, Brisbane Water, Tuggerah Lakes and Lake Macquarie - are particularly susceptible to stormwater pollution due to the slower natural flushing process and swimming is not recommended at these locations for three days after a rain event.

"We should not, however, rely solely on the natural flushing process for the health of our waterways, we need to work collaboratively to manage catchment runoff and other related impacts to reduce pollutant sources entering our waterways.

"Council is committed to the health of our region's waterways and we have a number of projects underway, some in partnership with the NSW Government, that are focused on improving water quality."

Council uses ongoing data analysis to identify water quality improvement measures for targeted sites. Works currently in place include:

  • extensive water quality testing of the waterways and testing throughout the sewer and stormwater networks including targeted CCTV inspections of underground pipes as well as smoke testing and dye testing to check for leaks and assess the integrity of the pipe network
  • 188 kilometres of pipes inspected for defects to date and 1,036 properties inspected for illegal connections
  • upgrades of defective sewer infrastructure
  • more than 36 kilometres of sewer pipe relined and 23 illegal connections identified.

Council Administrator, Rik Hart said it was pleasing to see the majority of Central Coast ocean beaches and all ocean baths receive a 'Good' rating.

"The numerous beautiful beaches of the Central Coast are at the heart of what makes this region so special and it is vital that we take care of these precious waterways," Mr Hart said.

"Our State of the Beaches report card for 2020-21 is good but there is certainly room for improvement and we will continue to roll out a number of measures designed to improve water quality across the Coast."

The State of the Beaches report can be viewed at NSW Government's Department of Planning, Industry and Environment's website, environment.nsw.gov.au

Community members can view daily forecasts of water quality at environment.nsw.gov.au/beach

The Terrigal and Coastal Lagoons Audit is underway and community members can see details on Council's website.

 

Council is progressing with catchment audits at other sites and these will be integrated into the Coastal Management Programs - yourvoiceourcoast.com/waterways

 
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