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Sydneysiders Urged to Stay Out Of Ocean Due To Stormwater Pollution

19 January 2024 | 2:14 pm | Jessie Lynch

Beachwatch reported that heavy rainfall has led to polluted stormwater infiltrating popular swimming spots, posing potential health risks.

Balmoral Beach

Balmoral Beach (Wikipedia)

Sydneysiders looking to escape recent oppressive humidity by taking a refreshing dip in the ocean are being cautioned by the government against swimming due to rainwater pollution.

The NSW Government's Beachwatch has reported that heavy rainfall that occurred over the past few days has led to polluted stormwater infiltrating popular swimming spots, posing potential health risks. Beachwatch has placed several beaches on red alert south of the bridge, indicating a likelihood of pollution and unsuitability for swimming.

Among these are Murray Rose Pool (Redleaf), Parsley Bay, and Rose Bay Beach. Red alerts are also issued for northern locations, including Clontarf Pool, Clifton Gardens, Balmoral Beach, Gurney Crescent Baths, and Davidson Reserve within the harbour.

While Sydney's harbour beaches are most susceptible to rainwater pollution, caution is advised even for some coastal beaches.

As of January 29, cautions are in place for Tamarama, Malabar Beach, Little Bay, and Bronte. Beachwatch warns that water pollution at these locations is possible, especially posing risks to young people and those with health issues.

Despite the concerning pollution levels, relief is in sight as the Bureau of Meteorology predicts a decrease in humidity over the next few days. Friday, January 19, saw a significant drop in humidity compared to the sticky conditions of the previous day. The dew point, which reached 24 degrees Celsius yesterday, has now ranged between 8 and 11 degrees Celsius, alleviating the urgency for a quick ocean swim.

For those keen to monitor pollution levels at their local beach, Beachwatch provides a resource to keep an eye on the situation. In the meantime, people are urged to wait for ocean waters to clear before heading off for an arvo dip.