Local councils and the Derwent Estuary Program collect beach water samples from sites throughout the Derwent estuary each week from the start of December to the end of March.

Water samples are analysed for specific bacteria (enterococci) which indicate the presence of contaminants from a variety of sources. Each site is classified as having Good, Fair or Poor water quality in accordance with state and national guidelines, based upon a rolling 5 years of data.

What the gradings mean:

  • Good: Water quality is usually good for swimming.
  • Fair: Water quality is usually fair for swimming.
  • Poor: Swimming is not advised.

For health and safety of all members of the public, swimming in the Derwent is not recommended for two days after heavy rain, and never in the vicinity of stormwater pipes or urban rivulets.

Further information and up-to-date data on beach water quality can be found at the Derwent Estuary Program website here.


2022-23 water quality results

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Bellerive West – Good Bellerive East – N/A
Howrah West – Fair Howrah Mid – Fair
Howrah East – Fair Little Howrah – Good