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From October to April each year, Council monitors and reports on the water quality of 11 swimming spots in our Local Government Area each week.

The sites monitored include:

  • Bagnalls Beach
  • Birubi Beach
  • Box Beach
  • Dutchmans Beach
  • Fingal Bay
  • Georges Reserve
  • Karuah Tidal Pool
  • Lemon Tree Passage Tidal Pool
  • Little Beach
  • One Mile Beach
  • Zenith Beach

These 11 sites  monitor a group of bacteria, known as enterococci, which indicate if water is polluted. The results, along with a pollution forecast, can be found on the NSW Office Environmental & Heritage Hunter ocean beaches bulletin.

Swimming-related illnesses

After heavy rain, pollution from stormwater and sewage overflows can make beaches unsuitable for swimming for 24 hours at ocean beaches and for at least three days at harbour or estuarine swimming areas.

This exposure can lead to a variety of health problems including gastroenteritis, flu-like illnesses, dermatitis, ear, nose and throat infections, sinusitis and deep tissue or blood infections through open wounds. Find out about swimming related illnesses from the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage.


For further information please contact:

Phone: (02) 4988 0255
Email: council@portstephens.nsw.gov.au