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NSW beaches cleanest in a decade

Published: 15 October 2018
The latest Beachwatch report has revealed that NSW beaches are the cleanest they have been in nearly a decade.

The annual Beachwatch report looks at the water quality of beaches and other swimming locations across NSW. It provides the community with accurate information on the cleanliness of the water and where and when to swim.

Swimming sites in NSW are graded as very good, good, fair, poor or very poor. For the first time since 2010, 85 per cent of the state’s swimming sites have been rated good or very good.

Report snapshot

  • 90 per cent of the 97 Sydney region swimming sites tested rated good or very good with improved water quality at seven sites and decreased scores at only four.
  • 78 per cent of the 18 North Coast swimming sites rated good or very good with two downgraded.
  • 84 per cent of the 38 Hunter region swimming sites rated good or very good with improvements at seven sites.
  • 53 per cent of the 32 Central Coast sites rated good or very good – a decline from the previous year due to changes in the monitoring program rather than water quality.
  • 100 per cent of the 21 Illawarra beaches rated good or very good with improved water quality at one beach.
  • 100 per cent of the 35 South Coast region sites rated good or very good with two sites showing decreased water quality.

A record-breaking 81 per cent of estuarine swimming sites are listed as good or very good and 98 per cent of ocean beaches are clean and safe.

Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said while these figures are welcome, they also show there is still work to be done.

“According to the report, coastal lakes, lagoons and estuarine swimming spots were adversely affected by heavy rainfall,” Ms Upton said.

“There are also concerns about some Sydney Harbour beaches and the NSW Government is working with the relevant councils to develop a whole of Sydney Harbour coastal management program to achieve similar outcomes on a city-wide basis."

Daily beach pollution forecasts are issued for Sydney ocean and harbour beaches and can be accessed from the Beachwatch website, email subscription, Twitter and Facebook.

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