Blue Mountains City Council

2016 Recreational Water Quality

During the warmer months, you might be tempted to cool off in a local creek or waterway. But is it safe?
Each week over summer, we test several popular local waterways for bacterial contamination. While it is not possible to provide real-time water quality results, you can use this information as a general guide to water quality at these locations.

Be aware that water quality can change on any given day and contamination can occur at any time, even during dry weather. If unsure about local water quality conditions, contact Council on 4780 5000.

Waterway/site Recreational water quality grade
Megalong Creek Poor
Yosemite Creek Very Poor
Wentworth Falls Lake Jetty Poor
Wentworth Falls Lake Beach Good
Glenbrook Lagoon Boat Ramp
Poor
Glenbrook Lagoon Beach Poor

 

A Good rating suggests the location has generally good microbial water quality and water is considered suitable for swimming most of the time. Swimming should be avoided during and for up to three days following heavy rain.

A Poor rating suggests the site is susceptible to faecal pollution and bacterial water quality is not always suitable for swimming. During dry weather conditions, ensure the location is free from signs of pollution, such as discoloured water, odour or debris in the water, and avoid swimming at all times during and for up to three days following rainfall.

A Very Poor rating suggests the location is very susceptible to faecal pollution and bacterial water quality may often be unsuitable for swimming. It is recommended to avoid swimming at these sites.

 Enjoy our waterways safely

Many Blue Mountains waterways are susceptible to faecal pollution (from sewer faults, stormwater pollution and inputs from agricultural animals) and bacterial water quality is not always suitable for swimming. Faecal pollution is more likely during and for up to three days following rain, however it is possible for contamination to occur at any time, even during dry weather.

Common ailments associated with swimming in contaminated water are eye, ear, nose and throat infections, skin diseases and gastrointestinal disorders. Following these general rules will help minimise the risk of infection due to contact with contaminated water:

1. Avoid all contact with waterways during and for up to 3 days following rain;
2. If considering swimming during dry weather conditions:

o Understand the catchment area for the waterway and the associated risks of water pollution (look at Google Maps/Earth, a topographic map or ask Council for advice);
o Ensure the location is free from signs of pollution such as discoloured water, odour or ‘urban’ debris in the water (such as rubbish, exotic leaves etc);
o Keep water out of ears, eyes, nose and mouth (i.e. keep head above water);
o Avoid water contact with broken skin such as cuts, bites or grazes;
o Remember that the very young, very old and those with compromised immunity are at greater risk of illness due to contact with poor quality water. 
 

Report pollution incidents to Council (4780 5000) or the NSW Environment Line (131 555).
 
Download the full Recreational Water Quality Report 2016 here or download from the right hand side of this page.

 

Protecting our local waterways

> Find out how we use Macroinvertebrate Surveys to assess overall creek health

> Find out how your Environment Levy is helping to protect local waterways

> Find out how Blue Mountains Swamps keep our waterways healthy