Blackmans Bay Water Testing

Kingborough Council is continuing water testing at Blackmans Bay Beach, despite recent water results giving the all clear for swimming.

Mayor, Paula Wriedt said investigating the poor water quality at Blackmans Bay Beach is, and will continue to be, a priority for Council.

“Local Councils, the Derwent Estuary Program and the Environmental Protection Authority collect water samples from 35 sites throughout the Derwent Estuary each Tuesday during swimming season, from the start of December to the end of March,” Cr Wriedt said.

“This program is called the Beach Watch Program and it has been running for over 20 years.

“Following the high levels of bacteria (enterococci) detected at Blackmans Bay Beach as part of the Program, Council erected signs advising against swimming.

“On April 6, test results improved, and the no swim advisory signs were taken down.

“While the swimming season has finished and signs have now been removed , Council Officers continue to investigate recent poor water quality trends at the beach.

“The presence of this type of bacteria in water samples is an indicator of faecal contamination.

“There are many ways that bacteria can end up in the beach water:

  • Sewerage spills can be caused by:
    • Failed/broken sewerage infrastructure,
    • Blockages in pipes,
    • Cross connections in people’s homes – sewerage connected to stormwater and visa versa,
  • Animal faeces and other material being washed down the roads into the stormwater system after rainfall, and
  • Large flocks of seagulls in the water.

“There have been a number of sewer spills recently that may have contributed to the poor water quality results.

“It’s also important to understand that we all have a responsibility for keeping our beaches bacteria free.

“One of the main ways people can help prevent blockages is by putting only the three P’s down the toilet – Poo, Pee and (toilet) Paper.

“Council’s Stormwater Investigations Officer has been on the ground across the catchment, testing outfalls, checking connections and following up reports of contamination to trace the possible bacteria sources.

“Council will also be working collaboratively with TasWater across the cooler months, sampling and actively investigating the Blackmans Bay catchment.

“Blackmans Bay water quality is an important priority for Council, and we do appreciate the community alerting us to issues that they see in their areas.”

Council can be contacted via email or call 6211 8200.