Swimmers will return to the middle of Howrah Beach this coming summer with the water quality there and at the west of Bellerive Beach improving markedly in the latest release of results from the Derwent Estuary Program.
Both Howrah Beach (mid) and Bellerive Beach (west) have had their long-term water quality ratings upgraded as a result of the council’s focus on improving water quality, along with strong support from TasWater, to address issues in a timely manner.
Clarence City Council Mayor, Brendan Blomeley, said he was thrilled by the announcement and proud of the outcomes achieved by Council.
“We took swift action in 2021 when the middle of Howrah Beach was downgraded to poor and a no-swim recommendation was placed on that section of the beach,” Mayor Blomeley said.
“We put a full-time staff member on the issue and worked closely with TasWater on addressing cross connections and other issues as soon as possible after we uncovered them.
“That collaborative effort has returned a great result for our city, but the work is not done.
“Council will continue to have a proactive approach to maintaining and improving water quality at these sites, and other beaches throughout our municipality.
“I would like to thank both the Derwent Estuary Program and TasWater for their ongoing efforts in keeping our waterways safe.”
Due to joint effort by Clarence City Council, TasWater and local residents the following issues have been fixed since the start of Council’s investigation in 2021:
- 2 cross-connections of sewer into stormwater
- 39 defects in sewer mains
- 15 defects in sewer lines between houses and mains
- 17 sewer blockages resulting in spills above and below ground.
“We are lucky to have so many of Tasmania’s most beautiful beaches within our city and it is important that we all do our bit to ensure the ongoing health of the Derwent Estuary,” he said.
Public education on stormwater pollution and appropriate remediation, and intervention measures upstream of the beach, will continue in the 2023-24 financial year.
With the positive results seen at Howrah and Bellerive resulting from the success of the council’s investigative works, council is now better prepared to respond to future pollution events and mitigate any future risks to public health.