- Monday 14 April 2008
A commitment to the health and safety of locals and visitors is the driver of regular water quality testing at Sunshine Coast beaches.
This commitment flies in the face of recent national media reports wrongly stating that people are putting their health at risk by swimming at one of the region’s most popular swimming spots, Noosa’s main beach.
Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s Director of Community Services (North), Alan Rogers, said reports of high bacteria levels in areas close to storm water drains was not unusual at certain times of the year.
“After high periods of rain or even rain after a long period of dry, we can expect that our storm water will be high in nutrients including bacteria.
“However, our commitment to the health of our community also means we test the water near stormwater drains regularly, and if we get a poor reading, ensure that we monitor the problem and keep the community informed.
“Council is already very active in warning the community not to swim near storm water drains. We do this via regular education programs, which include advice on the dangers of swimming near storm water outlets, at any time.
“We also have permanent signage in place near some storm water drain outlets where it has been noted swimmers are not heeding the message of not recreating near storm water outlets.
“Temporary signage is also erected, as required and as appropriate, whenever poor water tests results are received in areas that are used for swimming or water sports. It must be noted that over the past 12 months, our rigorous testing program has not shown any high readings between the flagged swimming area on Main Beach.
“Council is very aware of the popularity of Noosa beach as a holiday destination and it is committed to making sure that both our local community and our visitors are aware of how to stay safe and healthy in the water.
“Accusations about Council’s lack of concern for its community’s health are not based on fact and achieve little but unnecessary confusion about the benefits of water testing, community education and warning messages.”