Study finds bad water quality at Shaws Bay
ONE of Ballina's most popular swimming spots, Shaws Bay, has returned "poor" water quality results from the Beachwater Partnership Program.
The program saw 21 swimming locations from within the Ballina Shire, Byron Shire and Richmond Valley areas monitored between 2011 and 2012.
The newly released report states that two of these sites, Shaws Bay East (pictured), in Ballina Shire and Simpsons Creek, in Byron Shire were found to be of poor water quality.
The report found that Shaws Bay East often had poor water quality and occasionally exceeded the safe swimming limit after rainfall.
It went on to detail that after high rainfall the microbial water quality of the swimming site was susceptible to fecal pollution from contamination sources such as the Richmond River and stormwater.
Ballina Shire councillor Sharon Cadwallader said the results were not surprising and that she had actively spoken out about the issue of water quality.
Yesterday she reaffirmed her belief that "affirmative action" needed to be taken surrounding water quality and storm water management in the Ballina Shire.
"(Shaws Bay) is the jewel in Ballina's crown," Cr Cadwallader said.
"These water bodies are a magnet for the community."
They had to be treated as precious.
"This is something that we can't afford to rest on our laurels about," she said.
Cr Cadwallader said she would raise the issue at Thursday's council meeting.
The secretary of the Ballina Environment Society, Fiona Folan, said the problem should be addressed by the council, and she called on the council to implement new water management strategies in the area.
"We've been calling for years to have growth pollution traps on all storm water outlets," she said.
OUR BEST BEACHES
Belongil: Very good
Main Beach, Byron Bay: Very good
Seven Mile Beach, Lennox: Very good
Shelly Beach, Ballina: Good
Lighthouse Beach, Ballina: Good
Airforce Beach, Evans Head: Good