Swimming warning for three Wollongong beaches after heavy rain

Polluted effluent has led to the closure of many of Sydney’s beaches, and prompted a warning to "take care" at three Illawarra swimming spots. Picture: Nick Moir.
Polluted effluent has led to the closure of many of Sydney’s beaches, and prompted a warning to "take care" at three Illawarra swimming spots. Picture: Nick Moir.

Beachgoers thinking of taking a dip at Bulli, Bellambi and Corrimal beaches were warned to take care on Thursday, due to possible pollution in the water after this week’s heavy rain.

The three northern Wollongong beaches have been given two out of five stars  – considered a “poor” rating – for water quality this week, through the NSW Government’s Beachwatch program.

This means bacteria colony forming units are at a level of between 200-500 per 100 milliliters of water at the government’s monitoring sites.

All other beaches in the Illawarra have been given a good rating.

However, as a general precaution, Beachwatch says swimming at beaches in the Illawarra region should be avoided for up to one day after heavy rainfall or for as long as stormwater is present. 

The most obvious signs of stormwater pollution are water discolouration as well as debris in the water and on the tide line, the agency says.

Heavy rain in recent days has affected numerous sites in Sydney and the Central coast, including Bronte, Tamarama and Coogee beaches where swimming should be avoided.

For the latest information on Illawarra water pollution and beach star ratings, visit the Beachwatch website.