Sewage spill alert for Wollongong Harbour

Wollongong City Council has told people not to swim in Wollongong Harbour after attempts to locate the source of a sewage leak failed.

The harbour beach has been closed and signage has been erected telling people not to enter the water. 

Last Sunday, the Mercury reported a private main was responsible for a sewage leak into the harbour.

Late on Friday, Wollongong City Council issued a media release urging the public not to enter the water at Belmore Basin due to concerns over water quality.

The decision was made after a meeting between state government and council representatives on Friday afternoon.

‘‘On the evening of Saturday 11 January, the Crown Lands Division of the NSW Department of Trade & Investment discovered an unknown seepage in the sea wall at Belmore Basin,’’ the release said.

‘‘They have since been working with Sydney Water to isolate and test the integrity of the sewerage system.’’

Although Sydney Water told the Mercury last week the leak was from a private main, Wollongong City Council said the ‘‘source or nature of the leak’’ was yet to be identified.

Council’s director of planning and environment, Andrew Carfield, said the beach had been closed as a precaution in the interests of public health.

‘‘At this point we can’t confirm what’s causing this problem, so we’re erring on the side of caution.”

The water quality issues are not affecting North Beach or City Beach, which are expected to remain open for normal patrol hours.” 

The leak could not come at a worse time for council, with the Australia Day Aquathon, held at the harbour, just over a week away.

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