The Beachwatch Partnership Program was set up in 2004 to help councils monitor and report on their beaches.
Each September, all coastal councils are invited to partner with Beachwatch as part of this program. Councils have to fully fund the program (collect and analyse samples) and we provide:
- quality assurance
- program design assistance
- data management assistance
- sample media releases
- weekly star ratings on the OEH website
- inclusion in the annual State of the Beaches report.
Beachwatch risk-management plan
Beachwatch has developed The Protocol for Assessment and Management of Microbial Risks in Recreational Waters (PDF 934KB), a plan to help councils run their recreational water quality monitoring program. We call it 'The Protocol' and, while intended for use by NSW councils, anyone wanting to start a Beachwatch-style monitoring program can use it.
The Protocol supports the use of Chapter 5 – Microbial Quality of Recreational Water of the National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Waters (NHMRC 2008). Sections in The Protocol include:
- understanding the microbial guidelines
- site selection
- sanitary inspection
- microbial water quality monitoring
- microbial assessment
- beach classification, reporting and management.
Training for councils
Beachwatch offers a one-day course on managing water quality. Topics include:
- the national guidelines
- pathogens and indicator bacteria
- sanitary inspections
- water quality monitoring
- beach water quality reporting
- management and incident response plans.
We have received very positive feedback from attendees of past courses on the usefulness of the content.
If you are interested in attending a course, please contact us.
Beachwatch can’t provide a standard warning sign as each council receives different advice about wording and placement. However, we have put together a photo gallery of signs used by councils to give you some ideas. You should consult your council’s signage policy or legal adviser to help you decide on a sign.