Sydney’s dirtiest beaches revealed as endless storms turn city’s favorite swimming spots into water ‘diluted with sewage’
- Several of Sydney’s most popular swimming spots have ‘bad’ pollution levels
- NSW Department of Planning and Environment released the water data
- Coogee, Rose Bay and Narrabeen were among the dirtiest places in Sydney
Authorities have issued a warning to Sydneysiders hoping to take advantage of the sun and hit the beach as the city’s endless storms pollute popular swimming spots.
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has released the latest data for the state’s beaches, lakes and lagoons, showing that one in five had ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ water quality.
Among the hardest hit was Coogee Beach in the city’s eastern suburbs, Narrabeen Lagoon on the northern beaches, and Rose Bay in the CBD.
Several of Sydney’s most popular swimming spots have been deemed ‘poor’ in the latest pollution assessment report, including Coogee Beach in the Eastern Suburbs
The number of polluted beaches doubled in 2022, compared to the 2019-2020 report which found that one in ten beaches had poor or lower ratings.
Several places saw their ratings drop from ‘fair’ or ‘good’ – including the popular Coogee Beach – which was the only beach in Sydney with a ‘poor’ rating.
Rose Bay Beach, Bayview Baths and Northbridge Baths were also downgraded.
Environment Secretary James Griffin said the drop was the result of La Nina causing constant rainfall.
“(The water quality rating) is not surprising as NSW has just experienced its wettest summer in a decade and Sydney is experiencing its wettest month on record,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Narrabeen Lagoon, a body of water popular with families, had a ‘poor’ water quality rating
The data comes from the state government’s Beachwater water testing program, which analyzed most of the city’s swimming spots between May and September.
Ocean beaches are tested weekly all year round.
Samples were taken from 214 sites in NSW, including 97 in Sydney.
They were tested for enterococcal bacteria.
‘Poor’ ratings dictate that faecal contamination is detected at the sites and are not always suitable for swimming.
‘Very bad’ ratings mean it is generally unsafe for swimming, with rainfall often increasing contamination levels.
Testing takes 24 to 48 hours, no real-time indicators are available.
Rose Bay Beach also received a ‘poor’ rating – a place popular with dogs
dr. Ian Wright of Western Sydney University said Aussies should check Beachwater ratings before swimming this summer.
“This is really important information, especially for people with weakened immune systems or very young, old or sick,” he said.
“Anyone who swims in an estuary or coastal beach near an urban area should know … you just don’t swim for a few days because chances are you’re swimming through diluted sewage.”
Swimming in polluted areas puts you at risk of gastrointestinal infections, skin infections, and even hepatitis A.
Overall, 94 percent of beaches in NSW scored ‘good’ or ‘very good’.