Sewage smell and de­bris at beaches

Weekend Courier - - News - Gabrielle Jeffery

RES­I­DENTS have ex­pressed con­cerns about the smell of sewage and de­bris at Safety Bay and Shoal­wa­ter beaches.

Deb Crane said Safety Bay beach was “ab­so­lutely dis­gust­ing” last week.

She said dogs should be kept off the beach and urged peo­ple to wear face masks if walk­ing close by. Daron Har­vey was sim­i­larly ap­palled. “Al­gal blooms, dead dol­phin calves, dead fish, dead jelly fish and dead birds; as a long time res­i­dent I am dis­gusted with the cur­rent han­dling and man­age­ment of this area,” he said.

Jake Cotchin said he found a dead baby dol­phin while kite surf­ing about a month ago.

He said he be­lieved it was linked to the poor con­di­tions in the area.

The City of Rock­ing­ham is­sued ad­vice about an al­gal bloom in Shoal­wa­ter Bay on April 12, but re­moved warn­ing signs and lifted the ad­vice on April 16, stat­ing the bloom had dis­persed.

Pre­cau­tion­ary ad­vice is­sued by the Wa­ter Cor­po­ra­tion for an area off Cape Peron on March 23 is still in place.

The cor­po­ra­tion urged peo­ple not to swim, dive, kayak or fish (in­clud­ing shell­fish) within a 4km ex­clu­sion zone around the Cape Peron Ocean Out­let.

With works not ex­pected to be com­plete un­til Oc­to­ber 2019, the cor­po­ra­tion could not give an end date to the prob­lem.

“On­go­ing sam­pling is con­tin­u­ing and the re­sults will help us to work with our reg­u­la­tors to de­ter­mine when the ad­vice can be lifted,” a spokesman said.

He said it was not the re­sult of old fa­cil­i­ties be­ing flushed for the up­grades.

“There has been spec­u­la­tion on so­cial me­dia that raw sewage was be­ing re­leased from the ocean out­let,” he said. “This is not cor­rect. “All waste­water that is re­leased from the ocean out­let has un­der­gone var­i­ous forms of treat­ment be­fore it is re­leased into the en­vi­ron­ment.”

Res­i­dents Sam Peters, Shane Ma­zoue and Jake Cotchin say the prob­lems have been go­ing on for months. Be­low: Deb Crane took this photo at Safety Bay beach on April 18.

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