A year-long water quality audit to identify the cause of poor water quality at Terrigal Beach, The Haven and nearby lagoons is complete, with the results set to inform a suite of remediation works to improve swimmer safety.
The audit and analysis of pollution sources was conducted by the NSW Government in partnership with Central Coast Council and scientists from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said the results would guide Council’s future work in resolving water quality problems.
“Terrigal Beach is the jewel in the crown of Central Coast beaches. Local residents and its many visitors deserve to be able to enjoy the beach environment and swim in clean, safe water,” Mr Crouch said.
“The completion of this audit is a significant step forward in developing an effective, evidence-based water quality improvement program.”
UTS scientists used state-of-the-art DNA markers to show that microbial pollution at Terrigal Beach and the surrounding area is the result of human faecal matter which contaminates stormwater, particularly after rain.
The audit, which commenced in 2019, involved sampling at eleven sites from the Terrigal Lagoon mouth to The Haven, as well as at Forresters Beach, North Avoca and a number of stormwater drain exits.
“The key outcome of this audit is that Council can now prioritise and target remediation works in a way they never have before. It will also allow efficient and cost-effective water quality improvements to be undertaken,” Mr Crouch said.
“This is one of the most comprehensive recreational water quality investigations ever undertaken in NSW and I want to thank the Council staff for their genuine and constructive partnership.
“I have been strongly encouraging Council since February 2019 to apply for NSW Government funding through the Coastal and Estuary Grants Program, and today I am renewing my calls for Council to maximize this funding opportunity.”
The final summary and technical reports associated with the water quality audit are available at: www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/water/beaches/reporting-beach-water-quality/water-quality-investigations/terrigal-beach-water-quality-audit.
For more information about the Coastal and Estuary Grants Program, go to: www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/water/coasts/coastal-and-estuary-grants.