Council monitoring sandbar at Tallow Creek

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Council staff are monitoring the water levels in Tallow Creek at Suffolk Park with the creek still closed to the ocean despite recent rain.

The sandbar at the mouth of the creek is not allowing water to escape and this is causing inundation in some areas, including private properties and the approaches to the Tallow Creek footbridge.

James Flockton, Infrastructure Planning Coordinator, said the water level in Tallow Creek is currently high, 2.35m, and it was hoped that rain last week would have been enough for the creek to breach the sandbar but this did not happen.

“Wherever possible we try to avoid manually opening up Tallow Creek because there is always the risk of a fish kill, but given the high water level, which is currently very close to the top of the sandbar and the prediction of rain again later this week, we are hoping that the creek will open naturally,” Mr Flockton said.

Tallow Creek is an ICOLL, an intermittently closed and open lake and lagoon system.

“They are extremely sensitive ecosystems and while our responsibility is to manage these waterways to mitigate flooding in the catchment, our aim is to have as little impact on the environment as possible,” Mr Flockton said.

“One of the big problems is that when a sandbar is opened there is often a very fast release of water from the creek and this can cause a fish kill,” he said.

“We have been continuously monitoring the water levels and we are in regular communication with authorities including the National Parks and Wildlife Service, NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Marine Parks Authority.

Information about Tallow Creek and Belongil Creek is on Council’s website.

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