Water Quality

UPDATE:  October 2017:  Foreshore Beach continues to be the most contaminated in New South Wales

Foreshores Beach in Botany Bay was graded as Very Poor, as in previous years. This swimming site is often not suitable for swimming during dry weather conditions, and is very susceptible to pollution from sewage overflows discharging to nearby Mill Stream

UPDATE:  October 2016:  Foreshore Beach named the dirtiest in the State.

UPDATE:  October 2015:   Foreshore Beach continues to be the most contaminated in the Sydney Basin.

A cleaner, family friendly Foreshore Beach with shower and toilet facilities was promised as  part of the Port Botany Expansion and envisioned in this artist’s drawing.   “Restoration and enhancement of Foreshore Beach and adjoining landscaped area”link to document .  The question is where is the beach now and when are the poor water quality issues going to be addressed.  Details of problems with Foreshore and Boat Ramp


In the recent Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) Beachwatch report North Botany Bay beaches  Yarra Bay, Frenchmans Bay, and Foreshore Beach were reported as Fair, Poor and Very Poor, respectively.  The report states that:

In polluted waters, swimmers may be exposed to pathogens, which can easily enter the ears, eyes, nose and mouth. The skin is also directly exposed to infectious agents and chemicals through swimming, playing or working in polluted waters. This exposure can lead to a variety of health problems including gastroenteritis, flu-like illnesses, dermatitis, ear, nose and throat infections, sinusitis and deep tissue or blood infections through open wounds. The number of pathogens required to cause infections varies widely between micro-organisms and the general health of an individual. Children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems appear to be at greater risk. Visitors without prior immunity may also be at higher risk than the local population.


1 Response to Water Quality

  1. James says:

    Ombudsman acts on Sydney Water and watchdog
    Natalie O’Brien,December 18, 2011, Sun Herald

    THE NSW Ombudsman has launched a wide-ranging investigation into the relationship between Sydney Water Corporation and the state government’s environmental watchdog, the Office of Environment and Heritage.

    The investigation follows an expose´ by The Sun-Herald in October about the pollution activities of Sydney Water and the anger of public groups at their complaints being brushed off by the OEH.

    It revealed that untreated sewage and heavy metals were contaminating some of Sydney’s most picturesque waterways and posing potentially widespread health risks, but the extent of the problem had been kept quiet. The $32 billion Sydney Water Corporation was shown to have breached its pollution licences more than 1000 times in the past five years yet the OEH had not prosecuted one of the breaches.

    Advertisement: Story continues below
    A spokeswoman for the Ombudsman has confirmed ”an investigation into a range of issues” has begun into complaints made about the activities of the nation’s biggest water utility.

    Community members who complained about odour problems with Sydney Water’s North Head sewage treatment plant claimed the relationship between Sydney Water and the OEH was too cosy, putting public safety at risk.

    Residents who have long complained about the odour at North Head said it took the OEH almost a year to respond to the complaints.

    Despite taking affidavits from residents, the OEH had told them it could not be proved ”beyond reasonable doubt” that the odour was coming from the sewage plant.

    The then chief executive of the office, Lisa Corbyn, wrote to residents saying the OEH would not prosecute Sydney Water. A spokeswoman for Sydney Water said the watchdog had told it that it had met all requirements regarding the odour emission.

    The inquiry comes as the chemical giant Orica deals with yet another spill at its Newcastle plant. The Sun-Herald revealed last month that Orica has leaked more than 69,000 kilograms of ammonia in the past year as well as the cancer-causing chemical hexavalent chromium.
    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/water-issues/ombudsman-acts-on-sydney-water-and-watchdog-20111217-1ozxf.html#ixzz1gqzirICH

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