Water quality testing

We regularly conduct water quality monitoring for some of our key beaches, estuaries, and rivers. The water quality results are examined in relation to two sets of guidelines:

  • The ANZECC guidelines which provide recommendations for aquatic ecosystem health (Australian & New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh & Marine Water Quality)
  • The NHMRC guidelines provide recommendations for recreational water use (National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) Guidelines for Managing Risk in Recreational Waters)

Water samples are tested at our NATA accredited laboratory. The results of our monitoring are regularly published below.

Poor water quality results may lead to warnings or recreational closures of waterways, to protect our community from potential health risks.

Algae, particularly blue-green algae, in recreational waters can pose a health risk to people using these waters for swimming, paddling or surfing (including anything involving immersion in the water or some contact with the water), or children playing in sand.

Results of routine algae water quality sampling at Duchess Creek, Saltwater Creek and Rainbow beach are presented below. We also publish sewage monitoring reports associated with other wastewater treatment plants across our region. 

Lake Cathie

We undertake water quality and algal testing within the Lake Cathie Estuarine  system for forward planning purposes only. If you have concerns about the quality of the water and want to find out if it is safe to swim or for fishing contact NSW Health or NSW Fisheries .

The monitoring we do for water quality and algal presence is done as part of our role in managing the land surrounding the lake which includes the public reserve.  We also monitor water levels for the purpose of protecting public infrastructure and property in circumstances relating to possible flood impacts.

Revive Lake Cathie and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) – National Parks & Wildlife have installed a Remote Smart Water Quality Sensor Monitor in the Lake Innes Nature Reserve. Water quality parameters are available on the Remote Smart Water Quality Sensor Monitor dashboard.

Saltwater/Duchess Creeks Rainbow Beach

Our Environmental Laboratory undertakes water quality monitoring at Duchess Creek, Saltwater Creek and Rainbow Beach as part of its ongoing monitoring program and in accordance with Environmental Protection Licence conditions.