Bermagui swimming spots only “fair” – not good

THE Blue Pool and Horseshoe Beach at Bermagui are the only sites not scoring the top “good” rating in Bega Valley Shire Council latest round of Beachwatch program testing with samples taken at 13 sites on December 16.

Don’t be too concerned as the swimming spots are still rated “fair”, which is still suitable for swimming.

Council says a heavy downpour in the Bermagui area at the time may have been responsible and the waters should be back to their normal pristine conditions by now.

Project co-ordinator Glen Harper said 13 of the most popular local swimming sites would be monitored in accordance with NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Beachwatch protocols over December, January and February period.

“The Beachwatch program was established in 1989 by the NSW Government to monitor ocean and lake waters for bacterial contamination throughout the NSW coastline,” he said.

“Water samples are collected from between the bathing flags, or at the most frequently used part of the beach if there are no flags, and analysed to check the water quality. Council will be monitoring for certain types of bacteria which can indicate if water is polluted with stormwater or sewage and may be unsafe for swimming.

“The results will be posted on the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and Council’s websites and distributed to the local media.

“A variety of sites will be monitored including ocean beaches, coastal lagoons and estuarine swimming locations.

“The Sapphire Coast is justly renowned for its pristine beaches, bays, estuaries and coastal lakes and rivers. For the most part, these swimming spots are as clean as they are beautiful; however, people need to be able to be confident about the quality of the water they are swimming in.

“They need informed advice about any potential health impacts and whether it might be sensible to avoid swimming at certain times.

“While most coastal swimming sites generally enjoy excellent water quality, some experience stormwater pollution after rain, and as a general rule, we encourage people to avoid swimming for a day after heavy rainfall at coastal beaches and for up to three days in estuarine areas.

“There are many things the community can do to complement the work being conducted by Council. By placing litter in bins, composting garden waste and not using the hose as a broom, we can all help ensure pollution stays out of the stormwater and our waterways remain clean,” Mr Harper said.

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