Beaches in NSW mostly have very good water quality. In fact, they're among the best in the world. But there are times, particularly after heavy rain, when stormwater runoff and overflows from the sewage system can enter our waterways. If you swim after heavy rain, there's an increased risk of contracting illnesses like gastroenteritis and ear, eye and throat infections.
Beach pollution forecast
The BeachWatch daily bulletins predict the likelihood of pollution at swimming sites in the Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra regions.
- Online: view BeachWatch daily bulletins on our website.
Sydney ocean beaches
- Mobile: Visit the BeachWatch mobile site.
- Email updates: Subscribe to BeachWatch daily emails.
- Twitter: Follow @BeachwatchNSW on Twitter.
- Facebook: Like BeachWatchNSW on Facebook.
- RSS: Subscribe to the BeachWatch RSS feed.
To find out how much rain has fallen in your area, check the Bureau of Meteorology rainfall bulletins.
General warnings for safe swimming
- Avoid swimming during and at least one day after heavy rain at ocean beaches, and for at least three days at harbour beaches.
- Avoid swimming near stormwater drains or sewage outfalls.
- Avoid swimming if you see signs of pollution such as discoloured water, oil or scum on the water, and litter or other debris floating in the water or on the tide line.