Terrigal water quality audit

Research is helping solve water quality issues in the Terrigal region.

During the past decade, Terrigal Beach has been routinely graded as Poor in the annual NSW State of the Beaches Report. This has led to considerable concern by local and state governments as well as beach goers, recreational swimmers, surfers, fishers and the broader community.

In response, stakeholders have been working towards solving the water quality issues:

  • In January 2019, Central Coast Council commenced a water quality audit, expanding Beachwatch enterococci sampling at a single site (Terrigal Surf Club) to include 10 additional sites, plus the major stormwater drain outlets discharging to Terrigal Beach and the Haven.
  • In February 2019, the NSW Government committed $500,000 to Terrigal Beach and the Central Coast lagoons by undertaking a detailed, scientific audit and analysis of the microbial pollution sources.
  • In April 2019, scientists from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (the Department) and Central Coast Council developed a detailed work program to expand council’s water quality audit.

Extensive field work has been done by the Department and Central Coast Council in conjunction with University of Technology Sydney.

The research results have helped Council identify focus areas for remediation and they have commenced works in Terrigal Beach, the Haven and lagoon catchments to improve water quality. 

Results are summarised in Towards Safer Swimming: Terrigal Beach and Haven.

There are also nine technical reports that describe the results of the Terrigal Water Quality Audit research.

Cover of Microbial source-tracking to assess water quality in Central Coast Lagoons

Microbial source-tracking to assess water quality in Central Coast Lagoons (UTS technical report) – in preparation