Wa­ter for test­ing amid fears

Southern Telegraph - - News - Chloe Fraser

The City of Rock­ing­ham will soon test wa­ter qual­ity at the Safety Bay fore­shore and the Pond af­ter res­i­dents last week pleaded with coun­cil­lors to pri­ori­tise con­cerns about rot­ting seaweed.

A build-up of “pu­trid smelling” rot­ting seaweed and slime has an­gered res­i­dents who fear the con­di­tions of the Pond, along the fore­shore op­po­site Waimea Road, may cause po­ten­tial health haz­ards to res­i­dents, flora and fauna.

The small area of wa­ter formed about 10 years ago as part of nat­u­ral ocean pro­cesses.

How­ever, sev­eral res­i­dents be­lieve the Pond’s con­di­tion has be­come a threat to an­i­mals and ocean users, with nu­tri­ents and heavy met­als tak­ing over the area as a re­sult of rot­ting seaweed and storm drains that are dumped into the bed of wa­ter.

Safety Bay’s Tom Man­nion said he had this year found two dead dol­phins washed up on the beach, as well as hun­dreds of dead mul­let and dead pel­i­cans.

The Pond is a pop­u­lar kitesurf­ing and wind­surf­ing spot and is set to host four State and Na­tional Kite­board­ing WA events this year.

WA Kitesurf­ing As­so­ci­a­tion com­mit­tee mem­ber Ieke Verkuil said the con­di­tion of the Pond was dam­ag­ing Safety Bay’s in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion as a kitesurf­ing des­ti­na­tion. “As kite surfers we are dev­as­tated to see the cur­rent state of the Pond and the lack of ac­tion and re­spon­si­bil­ity that has been taken to . . . keep the Pond alive,” she said.

“There are lots of dead fish that are washed ashore and symp­toms like rash­ing, itchy skin, nau­sea, fa­tigue are few of the health is­sues kite surfers ex­pe­ri­ence af­ter be­ing in con­tact with the wa­ter in the Pond.”

Af­ter hear­ing com­mu­nity con­cerns at a pub­lic meet­ing held at the fore­shore on Thurs­day, the City vowed to con­duct a full sweep of nu­tri­ent and heavy me­tal tests di­rectly con­tribut­ing to al­gae growth. Strate­gic plan­ning and en­vi­ron­ment man­ager Natalie El­liott said the City must first un­der­stand the nu­tri­ents present and what other fac­tors need to be treated be­fore nam­ing a so­lu­tion. “Only when we have these re­sults will we know what is best to do,” she said.

Pic­ture: Face­book Pic­ture: Chloe Fraser

A build-up of rot­ting seaweed and slime near the Pond on the Safety Bay fore­shore has an­gered res­i­dents. IN­SET: A crowd of res­i­dents met at the Safety Bay fore­shore on Thurs­day to dis­cuss con­cerns about wa­ter qual­ity at the Pond.

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