News

Stanwell Park, Austinmer and Woonona beaches top water quality monitoring in north

Austinmer Beach rated one of the best for water quality in the northern suburbs.

BEACHES at Stanwell Park, Austinmer and Woonona have topped the list of water quality for swimming in the northern suburbs.

The latest State of the Beaches report provides an overview of water quality at 214 swimming locations across the State, which are monitored under the NSW Government’s Beachwatch and Beachwatch Partnership programs.

The report revealed that all beaches monitored in the northern suburbs were graded good to very good.

Overall, the report revealed 94 per cent of monitored ocean beaches and 80 per cent of all monitored swimming spots across NSW were graded as good or very good.

NSW Minister for Environment James Griffin said State of the Beaches has five categories of water quality rating: very good, good, fair, poor or very poor.

“Despite the wettest summer in a decade, and Sydney’s wettest year on record, there’s been only a slight decline on last year’s results,” Mr Griffin said. 

“In 2021–22, 172 (80 per cent) of the 214 swimming sites in NSW were graded as good or very good, indicating they were suitable for swimming most of the time.

“We’ve been running the Beachwatch monitoring program since 1989, and we know how important it is for providing confidence to the people of NSW, which is why we announced in the NSW Budget that we’re expanding the Beachwatch Partnership program with $18.5 million over 10 years.” 

Rainfall is the major driver of pollution in recreational waters, as it generates storm water runoff and triggers discharges from wastewater treatment systems.

Many estuarine, lake and lagoon swimming sites did not perform as well as ocean beaches as they are more susceptible to wet weather impacts.

The Beachwatch program works by routinely collecting water from swimming sites and testing for bacteria as an indicator of contamination.

Beachwatch also issues daily early morning forecasts for the predicted water quality at 160 swim site in Sydney, Hunter, Central Coast and Illawarra regions.

The 2021-22 State of the Beaches report can be viewed online.launch  

Daily Beachwatch pollution forecasts and weekly star ratings for beaches across NSW can be found at Beachwatchlaunch and on Twitter and Facebook.


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.

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