Rose Bay water quality audit

Research is helping solve water quality issues at Rose Bay Beach.

Over the last decade, the Poor water quality grade given to Rose Bay Beach in the annual NSW State of the Beaches report has led to considerable concern by local and State government, as well as beach goers, recreational swimmers, and the broader community seeking action to improve water quality.

In response, stakeholders have taken steps towards resolving water quality issues:

  • In 2017, the Rose Bay Beach Working Party was established, which includes staff from Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (the Department) , Sydney Water, Transport NSW, Woollahra Council, Member for Vaucluse and the local community. A Water Quality Improvement Action Plan was developed, including an action to use advanced water quality testing techniques to determine the sources of pollution. 
  • In February 2019 the NSW Government committed $150,000 to Rose Bay water quality by undertaking a detailed, scientific audit and analysis of the microbial pollution sources. 
  • In April 2019, scientists from the Department, in collaboration with the Ocean Microbiology Group at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), developed a work program for a water quality audit applying enterococci and genetic marker methods. 

The outcomes of the research will be used to focus remediation efforts in the catchment and help Woollahra Council and Sydney Water design and implement management strategies to resolve water quality issues at the beach.

Results are summarised in Towards Safer Swimming: Rose Bay.

There are also three technical reports that describe the results of the Rose Bay water quality audit research.