Coogee Beach after heavy rainfall

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Beaches & Lifeguards
Coogee Beach in summer

There’s been discussion in recent days about Coogee Beach and whether it’s polluted.

When it rains, stormwater drains to the lowest point. In the eastern suburbs, this is typically our beaches. Stormwater can contain pollutants and during rain these concentrate at the beach. This is why the general advice is to not swim at any beach in Sydney during or 24 hours after heavy rainfall. This issue is not specific to Coogee.

During rain, Sydney Water sewer pipes can overflow into the stormwater system – another reason not to swim during or immediately after heavy rain.

When it’s not raining, Beachwatch testing found 94% of samples at Coogee within the safe swimming limit.

Also - your drain on your street goes to the beach – this is why you should not tip paint, chemicals or any other waste water into it as it’ll end up at the beach. If you see somebody doing this, please report it to Council immediately.

Council has a range of programs in place to improve stormwater quality including sump pits to catch large pollutants, Gross Pollutant Traps and water recycling plants. These help, but will never stop the problem.

Lifeguards manage the beach from a safety perspective and put the flags up in the areas safest for swimming.

If you want general predictive advice on water quality and whether to swim, the best source is the BeachWatch website.

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