Blue Mountains City Council

Recreational Water Quality
Recreational Water Quality

Water-based recreation should be avoided at all sites for several days after rain.

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Recreational Water Quality

Recreational Water Quality Results 2013-14
Swimming, wading, canyoning, boating and fishing are some of the water-based recreational activities that are undertaken by Blue Mountains residents and visitors at a range of local waterways.

The level of risk associated with these activities varies depending on the characteristics of the site at which the recreation is taking place. During the summer months, Blue Mountains City Council monitors several water-based recreation sites for bacteriological indicators of water quality that help to determine whether users of certain waterways are at risk from disease causing organisms. Bacteriological indicators are used to detect faecal contamination of waterways and they suggest that pathogenic (disease-causing) microorganisms are likely to be present. Common ailments associated with swimming in contaminated water are eye, ear, nose and throat infections, skin diseases and gastrointestinal disorders.

In general, all types of water-based recreation should be avoided at all sites for several days after rain, as risk of contamination is generally heightened during wet weather. Stormwater tends to flush pollutants from urban catchments and often causes sewage overflows into waterways. It does not necessarily follow that sites will be safe for recreation during dry weather, as contamination may still occur during these periods. The recreational user is in the best position to judge whether undertaking water-based recreational activities is appropriate on the day of their visit. If unsure about local water quality conditions, recreational users should contact Council on (02) 4780 5000.

Recreational Water Quality Reports provide a full explanation of how monitoring and compliance assessments were conducted. These reports may be downloaded at right.