Kingborough Deputy Mayor, Jo Westwood said as a result of the Derwent Estuary Program’s (DEP) long-term water quality ratings, Kingston Beach North had been classified as ‘poor’.
“This rating applies only to the northern end of Kingston Beach, more commonly known to locals as Dog Beach, where Browns River flows out,” Cr Westwood said.
“The rating has come from five poor results out of 88 samples over the five year period.
“The ‘poor’ long-term grading means that swimming is not advised at this section of the beach.
“Council undertakes weekly sampling over the summer season as part of the DEP Beach Water program.
“While we cannot yet point to the exact cause of the results recorded at Kingston Beach North, we do know that this site is subject to flows from Browns River.
“Periods of high rainfall result in a flushing of Browns River where the river meets the beach.
“Many local residents know that Browns River is not suitable for primary contact activities such as swimming.
“Weekly water testing is continuing over the winter months, including at the Browns River catchment, with Council already taking steps to intensively test and investigate catchments to find any sources of contamination.
“Council is prioritising investigation of possible contaminants that may end up in the stormwater network in the Kingston Beach area as well as the inputs higher up the catchment that feed into Whitewater Creek and Browns River.
“We also have a full time Stormwater Investigations Officer to investigate and track contaminations as they occur across Kingborough.
“Since 2019 Council’s Stormwater Investigations Officer, in conjunction with TasWater, has investigated and resolved over 100 sewer spills, blockages and leaks across Kingborough.
“The Stormwater Investigations Officer is currently conducting a comprehensive water quality testing regime along Browns River.
“This will build an extensive picture of the water quality, to track any issues to the source as they are happening.
“An internal working group continues to look at the best ways to address water quality issues and will be prioritising Kingston Beach north.
“Our priority is to keep the community informed in an accountable and transparent manner.
“Council’s website will be updated regularly, with weekly water testing results and any relevant new information.
“Signs will advise beachgoers that swimming at Dog Beach is not recommended.
“Swimming is still recommended at the middle and southern sections of Kingston Beach.
“Swimming in the Derwent is not recommended for two days after heavy rain (more than 10mm of rain over a 24-hour period).
“Do not swim or allow children to play in or near the vicinity of stormwater outfalls or urban rivulets.”