GOOD RATING: Finally, the water quality in Ballina’s Shaws Bay has been given a fair to good rating following the recent flooding which turned the popular swimming spot brown.
GOOD RATING: Finally, the water quality in Ballina’s Shaws Bay has been given a fair to good rating following the recent flooding which turned the popular swimming spot brown.

Finally, water in popular bay given the OK for swimming

FINALLY, the water in Ballina’s Shaws Bay has been given a top quality rating — though it’s not likely to be great swimming weather over the weekend.

The latest sampling of the water quality in the popular bay has resulted in three and four-star ratings being given, which means the water is “fair” to “good”.

The sampling was undertaken this week by Ballina Shire Council staff as part of the NSW Government’s Beachwatch program.

Five sites in Shaws Bay are sampled each week.

Shaws Bay east arm at the picnic area on Fenwick Dr at East Ballina recorded the top rating of four stars as did Shaws Bay west on Compton Dr.

A site near Pop Denison Park recorded a star rating of three.

The water in Shaws Bay turned brown as dirty water from the recent floods flowed down the Richmond River and led to the poor water quality ratings in previous weeks.

The sampling measures “enterococci colony-forming units per 100ml”.

The Beachwatch website says enterococci are “indicators of the presence of faecal material in water and, therefore, of the possible presence of disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and protozoa”.

The Beachwatch website says “studies have shown a strong relationship between elevated levels of enterococci and illness rates in swimmers”.

The Beachwatch program started in 1989 in response to community concern about sewage pollution washing up on Sydney’s beaches.