Featured report State of the Derwent Report Card 2018
Our latest publication – the 2018 State of the Derwent Report Card is now live! The publication provides a snapshot of the Derwent estuary’s health.
Hobart area residents are fortunate in having easy access to a variety of safe, sandy beaches within 20 minutes of the CBD. This is increasingly rare for a capital city and adds greatly to our quality of life. Swimming and other water sports such as small boat sailing, rowing, windsurfing and water-skiing are also enjoyed at sites up and down the estuary.
Beach Watch tests water quality at 18 swimming sites around the Derwent, while Bay Watch monitors at 21 bays and foreshore reserves. Weekly results are published below, and on the DEP Facebook page. Based on five years of data, the majority of Derwent beaches and bays have been classified as having good or fair water quality.
Swimming in the Derwent is not recommended for several days after heavy rain, and never in the vicinity of stormwater pipes or urban rivulets.
|1||New Norfolk (The Esplanade)||Good||N/A|
|2||Windermere Bay Beach||Fair||N/A|
|3||Nutgrove Beach (east)||Fair||N/A|
|4||Nutgrove Beach (mid)||N/A||N/A|
|5||Nutgrove Beach (west)||Fair||N/A|
|6||Little Sandy Bay (south)||Good||N/A|
|7||Little Sandy Bay (north)||Good||N/A|
|10||Kingston Beach (north)||Fair||N/A|
|11||Kingston Beach (mid)||Good||N/A|
|12||Kingston Beach (south)||Fair||N/A|
|13||Blackmans Bay (north)||N/A||N/A|
|14||Blackmans Bay (mid)||Fair||N/A|
|15||Blackmans Bay (south)
See note below
|16||Bellerive Beach (east)||N/A||N/A|
|17||Bellerive Beach (west)||Good||N/A|
|18||Howrah Beach (east)||Good||N/A|
|19||Howrah Beach (mid)||Fair||N/A|
|20||Howrah Beach (west)||Good||N/A|
|21||Little Howrah Beach||Good||N/A|
Most importantly, DO NOT swim in the estuary for two days after heavy rain, or at any time near stormwater pipes and urban rivulets.
Blackmans Bay (south): Council has undertaken an extensive range of investigations and sampling at Blackmans Bay (south). This has led to various cross connections and sewer leakage issues being rectified in the catchment area. Further investigations and ongoing monitoring will continue. A low-flow stormwater diversion has also recently been installed at the Illawarra outfall. In the meantime, swimming is currently not recommended at the southern end of Blackmans Bay Beach. Water quality remains suitable for swimming at the north & middle sections of Blackmans Bay and for all other beaches in Kingborough.
|1||New Norfolk (Millbrook Rise Jetty)||N/A||N/A|
|2||Old Beach Jetty||Good||N/A|
|3||Elwick Bay Yacht Club||Fair||N/A|
|4||New Town Bay||Fair||N/A|
|5||Prince of Wales Bay||Good||N/A|
|10||Hobart Rivulet (mouth)||Poor||N/A|
|14||Brooke Street Pier||Good||N/A|
|20||Berriedale Bay, at MONA||Fair||N/A|
Most importantly, DO NOT swim for several days after heavy rain or at any time near stormwater pipes and rivulets.
Please note these locations are not designated swimming sites.
Avoid swimming in the Derwent estuary for two days after heavy rain (> 10 mm rain over a 24 hour period) as beaches are likely to be polluted by stormwater. Check back regularly for the latest results.
For sampling results for all sites, and further information about this program see the DEP’s latest Recreational Water Quality report.
Local councils, the Environmental Protection Authority and the Derwent Estuary Program collect water samples from 39 sites throughout the Derwent estuary each Tuesday from the start of December to the end of March.
All samples are analysed at the Public Health Laboratory (New Town) using the Enterolert method, which provides confirmed results within 24 hours of analysis. Results are typically reported between 24 and 48 hours after submission to the laboratory.
Water contaminated by sewage and animal faeces may contain pathogenic micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses, protozoa) which pose a health hazard when the water is used for primary contact recreation, such as swimming. Infection may occur by swallowing, inhaling or by direct contact of contaminated water with ears, nasal passages, mucous membranes and cuts in the skin, which allow the pathogens to enter the body. The most common health conditions associated with primary contact recreation in contaminated water are gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory illnesses, eye, nose and throat infections and skin disorders.
The Recreational Water Quality Guidelines for Tasmania were developed using the National Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Water 2008. The Tasmanian guidelines adopt a three-tiered approach to classifying the long-term quality of a site based on available data. The tiers are:
In addition to long-term site classification, trigger levels have been set to manage public exposure to episodic or emerging water quality issues. If a sample exceeds 140 MPN per 100 mL, the relevant authority is required to re-sample, and if two consecutive samples return a result above 280 MPN per 100 mL, the swimming site must be closed and the public notified. The beach may only be re-opened for primary contact recreation following agreement between the Director of Public Health and Council’s Authorised Officer.
For further information see the Tasmanian Recreational Water Quality Guidelines and our national Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Water.