Initial results from the widespread environmental sampling undertaken by MidCoast Council and the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) this week have largely proven positive, with numerous flood-affected waterways across the region showing they’re now safe for recreational use.
“Despite the extent of the flooding across the region, these results show our waterways are bouncing back faster than we initially expected,” said Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Rob Scott.
“These results adhere to the Australian and New Zealand Environment Conservation Council Guidelines for primary contact of recreational waters, which set the microbiological parameters for whether or not a waterway is safe for swimming and other pursuits.”
As of yesterday afternoon, the following waterways have been deemed safe for recreational use:
• Manning River, from Wingham to Manning Point and Harrington
• Dawson River
• Wallis Lake at Tiona Park, Paradise Marina and the Wallis Lake boat ramp
• Smiths Lake at Sandbar and Frothy Coffee Boatshed
The following waterways have not been deemed safe for recreational use:
• Myall River at Bulahdelah
• Wallamba River at Darawank
• Saltwater Lagoon
• Black Head Lagoon
• Smiths Lake at Tarbuck Bay
Mr Scott said while a number of popular waterways hadn’t met the guidelines, he expected to see improvements when the next set of results came back this afternoon.
“As the floodwaters recede, we expect to see the water quality improve in our waterways, and we’ll continue to test until they return a positive result,” he said.
“However, we also urge people to use their own judgement and not swim in areas where the water appears particularly dirty.”