Thursday, 16 June 2022

Ballina Shire waterways still showing signs of flood pollution - immune compromised people advised to avoid swimming

Echo, 13 June 2022:

Flood debris in Ballina, Richmond River, 1 March 2022. 
Photo David Lowe.

People with compromised immune systems were still being advised to avoid swimming in Ballina Shire waterways more than three months after catastrophic flooding in late February.

Advice from the council in early June said ‘those with lower immune function should avoid swimming within our rivers, bays and lakes’.

The advice came after the council’s most recent monitoring showed water quality at official levels of good or fair in all sampled waterways.

Fair water quality represented bacteria levels that indicated an increased risk of illness to swimmers, particularly those with lower immune function including the elderly and young children, council advice said.

The council said it could be several weeks before harmful bacteria and debris was flushed from Ballina waterways.

The worst water quality was in rivers, enclosed bays and lakes, the council said, but ocean beaches could still present risks visible signs of pollution were present.

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