Is the tide finally turning?

Is the tide finally turning?

The residents and beach-goers of the Kingborough community have become increasingly frustrated as another summer ends, and the prospects of having safe local beaches to swim at next summer remains uncertain.
Blackmans Bay Beach south has been off limits for swimmers for the entire 2018-19 summer, due to high levels of contamination after testing over the past few months, receiving a red colour code.
Each summer recreational water quality is monitored at about 35 beaches and bays around the estuary through a collaborative state and local government program.
Sampling is conducted weekly from Tuesday, December 4, 2018, through March at the locations.
To describe the risk level to swimmers a colour coded system is used based on five years of monitoring data: green indicates good, yellow indicates fair, and red indicates poor water quality.
The results are published weekly on the website: https://www.derwentestuary.org.au/beach-watch/
On Tuesday night at the Blackmans Bay water quality forum residents and interested parties will hear about breakthroughs made in recent weeks around Blackmans Bay water quality.
The Kingborough Council chose to limit seats to the event and required registration by attendees, but live streaming of the event on the Kingborough Council Facebook page is being offered.
Local resident Rosalie Maynard said “it’s hoped the key organisations involved will set out a concrete, properly funded strategic short and longer-term action plan that will give ratepayers some confidence that our beaches will be cleaned up.
“There has been some progress made around identifying and fixing some known sources of contamination, but that’s not to be taken for granted while unacceptable pollution is still entering our bays through a number of stormwater outfalls.
“Our new Mayor has said this is one of his top priorities, let’s see how that gets put into action.”
The Kingborough Council said its own experts, TasWater and the Derwent Estuary Program will update the public with work that has occurred over the past three months to resolve water quality issues and outline the plan for the future.
Kingborough Mayor, Cr Dean Winter said the council’s objective was to have the entire beach reopened in time for next summer and that council’s intensive water quality testing would continue for as long as it was needed.
“One of the problems we had at the start of this project was that we did not have any water sampling since last summer. 
“So, we have been building up our understanding of water quality at Blackmans Bay over the past three months,” Cr Winter said.
“If we need to continue that program, which is on top of what the Derwent Estuary Program already does, we will do that.”
Cr Winter said sewerage pipes that were incorrectly connected to the stormwater system in the south of Blackmans Bay have been fixed, thanks to the immediate attention of property owners.
“Council greatly appreciates the cooperation of owners on tending to these issues,” Cr Winter said.
“In addition, council crews have removed a tree root mass, which impacted the stormwater network in the Flowerpot Crescent outflow.
“This work will prevent further build-up of contaminants in the system.
“The important message is that we will continue to investigate possible sources of contamination and monitoring water quality results in a close working partnership with TasWater,” said Cr Winter.


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