Three waterspots have ‘faecal matter’ as best beaches revealed


Source: Sarah Swain, Manly Daily

Birdwood Park, Narrabeen Lagoon was one of the worst rated for pollution including human waste

Birdwood Park, Narrabeen Lagoon was one of the worst rated for pollution including human waste

Three waterspots have ‘faecal matter’ as best beaches revealed

A PENINSULA lagoon is regularly contaminated with human waste, official tests reveal.

Both water at Birdwood Park at the entrance of Narrabeen Lagoon, and Bilarong Reserve in the lagoon came out as ‘poor’ in the national State of the Beaches Report.

Meanwhile, the third spot which did badly in the report because of sewerage found in the water, was Barrenjoey Beach.

The Birdwood Park water was deemed ‘susceptible to faecal pollution’ and unsuitable for swimming around 20% of the time, especially for up to three days after rain.

Meanwhile, a second spot at the lagoon, Bilarong Reserve, occasionally exceeded the safe swimming limit, which means it could be polluted with human waste, even after little or no rain.

Beaches at Narrabeen Lagoon are not the best spots for swimming. Picture: Julian Andrews.

Contaminated water can cause gastroenteritis and infections, especially in children and older people.

However, the results at Birdwood Park are “provisional’ as there was limited data, and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage say the water has improved since last year, due to the lagoon’s entrance being opened up.

State of the Beaches details the best and worth peninsula beaches

Barrenjoey Beach was given a provisional ‘poor’ rating, but experts say information is incomplete as samples were taken mostly during wet weather.

An old toilet block which impacted water quality has now gone, too.

Barrenjoey beach had a provisionally poor rating.

Clontarf Pool was only rated as ‘fair,’ meaning care should be taken.

All the other beaches the peninsular is famous for came out on top.

Best beaches, with the top ‘very good’ score, meaning water is suitable for swimming almost always were Palm, Whale, Avalon, Bilgolah Bungan, Mona Vale, South Curl Curl and Dee Why Beaches.

On Pittwater, Elvina Bay, The Basin and Great Mackerel Beach came out best.

Manly Beach got the second top rating overall.

Manly’s beaches, split into North Steyne and South Steyne, as well as beaches around Manly Cove were rated as good, which means swimming should be avoided a day after heavy rainfall.

The report said: “Twenty-nine of the 32 swimming sites were graded as Very Good or Good in 2016—2017.

“Estuarine and lagoon swimming sites did not perform as well as ocean beaches due to lower levels of flushing which increase the time needed to disperse and dilute pollution inputs, taking longer to recover from stormwater events.

Bilgola Beach is a perfect place to swim

“Overall performance improved, with Bayview Baths upgraded to good from poor in the previous year despite wet weather and significant storm events.”

Overall across NSW, last year’s heavy rainfall and major storms impacted water quality.

Northern Beaches Council spokesman, Ben Taylor, General Manager Environment & Infrastructure, said the Bridwood Park and Barrenjoey Beach results were provisional, and the Bilarong water quality is unchanged on last year.

“The Northern Beaches is home to some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches and pristine swimming sites and Northern Beaches Council is pleased to see that the quality of these is being maintained and improved across the board,” he said.

“Twenty-nine of the 32 swimming sites in the Northern Beaches area ranked very highly and Bayview Baths has improved on last year.”


Palm Beach Very good

Whale Beach Very good

Avalon Beach Very good

Bilgola Beach Very good

Newport Beach Good

Bungan Beach Very good

Dee Why Beach did well in the report. Picture: Julian Andrews.

Mona Vale Beach Very good

Warriewood Beach Good

Turimetta Beach Good

North Narrabeen Beach Good

Narrabeen Lagoon (Birdwood Park) Lagoon Provisional Poor

Bilarong Reserve Lagoon Poor

Barrenjoey (top) was rated poor.

Collaroy Beach Good

Long Reef Beach Good

Dee Why Beach Very Good

North Curl Curl Beach Good

South Curl Curl Beach Very good

Freshwater Beach Good

Queenscliff Beach Good

Dee Why came out on top. Picture: Troy Snook

North Steyne Beach Good

South Steyne Beach Good

Shelly Beach Ocean Good

Barrenjoey Beach Provisional Poor

Paradise Beach Baths Good

Clareville Beach Good

Taylors Point Baths Good

Bayview Baths Good

Palm Beach is a top spot according to the report

Elvina Bay Very good

North Scotland Island Good

South Scotland Island Good

The Basin Very good

Great Mackerel Beach Very Good

Clontarf Pool Fair

Forty Baskets Pool Good

Fairlight Beach Good

Manly Cove Good

Little Manly Cove Good


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