Recreational Water Monitoring

The Derwent Estuary Program

Each Summer, recreational water quality is measured at a number of sites around the Derwent. Testing is undertaken by local Councils and the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE). One bacterial indicator is used; enterococci, considered the preferred indicator of water safety in coastal waters.

Council participates in this program, undertaking sampling of popular recreational waters weekly.  Sampling is conducted at site to ensure it is representative (ie.) - the distance out that someone would swim. Samples are taken to the Public Health Laboratory in Newtown for analysis. 

The program takes place annually throughout the summer months.  For more information on the Derwent Estuary Program visit their website, for the latest water quality results visit This Weeks Water Results.

Sampling Sites

Sites sampled are:

  • Blackmans Bay Beach (Near the Playground area)
  • Blackmans Bay South (Opposite Illawarra Road)
  • Kingston Beach South (Just out from the Stormwater Drain near the Yacht Club)
  • Kingston Beach Middle (Near the toilet block)
  • Kingston Beach North (Just down from the Browns River mouth)
  • Browns River mouth
  • Hinsby Beach (Near the rocks)
  • Taroona Beach (Just out from the boat ramp)

Other sites sampled during the Summer season:

  • Woodbridge (Silverwater Park)
  • Coningham Beach
  • Snug Beach (Straight in line with end of Beach Road)
  • Margate (Bay just before Dru Point)
  • Wingara Road, Howden (Just out from the boat ramp)
  • Tinderbox (Out from the diving area)
  • Nebraska Beach
  • Adventure Bay Beach
  • Quiet Corner, Adventure Bay
  • Alonnah Beach
  • Simmons Beach, Barnes Bay

If you would like to see a map of the sampling locations, please click the following links. Channel/Bruny or Bruny.

Analysis Standard and Parameters

All sites are analysed for levels of enterococci.  This is an organism found in human and animal faeces.  This is generally used as an indicator of faecal pollution, indicating the presence of disease causing bacteria, viruses and parasites that can be harmful to human health.  Sources of pollution may include animal faeces, pollution from septic tanks, Sewage Treatment Plant discharges or stormwater discharges.

It should be noted that sample analysis results are likely to be higher after rainfall.  It is recommended that beach-goers should not swim at urban beaches for a few days after heavy rainfall.

© 2011 Kingborough Council
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