Our beaches in good shape

Our beaches in good shape

Posted Sunday 15 December 2013

Our beaches in good shape

The Office of Environment and Heritage has released the State of the Beaches Report 2012/13.

All beaches are assessed using a Beach Suitability Grade and a Sanitary Site Inspection. The Sanitary Site Inspection identifies potential sources of pollution, whilst the Beach Suitability Grade provides an assessment of the suitability of a swimming location for recreation, based on water quality monitoring. There are five grades – very good, good, fair, poor, and very poor.

A total of 84 estuarine beaches are monitored in Sydney under the Harbourwatch Program. Of these 84 estuarine beaches, 56 (67%) were graded as Good or Very Good.

Mosman’s beaches monitored under the Program include; Clifton Gardens, Balmoral Baths, Edwards Beach and Chinamans Beach. Overall, each of these beaches has been graded as ‘Good’. This indicates that each beach “..has generally good microbial water quality and water is considered suitable for swimming for most of the time. Swimming should be avoided during and for up to three days after heavy rain..”.
The Sanitary Site Inspection for Mosman beaches indicated a moderate category for each beach. Potential sources of pollution were identified as stormwater outlets/drains, sewer overflows, boats, animals, toilet facilities and bathers. Monitoring has shown that enterococci levels generally increase at all of the Mosman beaches in response to 5+mm of rainfall.

For more information, the State of the Beaches Report 2012/13 can be viewed at environment.nsw.gov.au/beach/ar1213/index.htm