The water quality at beaches and other swimming locations is monitored and reported to enable the community to make informed decisions about where and when to swim. Routine assessment also measures the impact of pollution sources, enables the effectiveness of stormwater and wastewater management practices to be assessed, and highlights areas where further work is required. More than 200 swimming locations are monitored in NSW under the Beachwatch Program. Samples are tested for the bacteria enterococci, which indicates the possible presence of sewage contamination.
Broad catchment water quality information for each major catchment across NSW is contained in the State of the catchments reports.
NSW Waterwatch partners with Catchment Management Authorities, water corporations and authorities, local government, non-government organisations, businesses, the education sector and community organisations to involve the community in monitoring local projects and activities that may directly or indirectly, impact on water quality and catchment health.
Your local Waterwatch group may also have information about the quality of water in your local waterway.
Algal blooms can cause waters to be unsafe for recreation in both freshwater and marine water environments. Algal alerts are issued by Regional Algal Coordinating Committees (RACCs) who are responsible for local management of algal blooms.
The algal information line on 1800 999 457 provides recorded information on algal alerts.