Safety Bay and Shoalwater residents concerned about sewage smell and debris at local beaches


Residents Sam Peters, Shane Mazoue and Jake Cotchin all said the problems had been ongoing for months. Mr Cotchin who found a dead baby dolphin while kite surfing about a month ago believed it was linked to the poor conditions in the area.
Residents Sam Peters, Shane Mazoue and Jake Cotchin all said the problems had been ongoing for months. Mr Cotchin who found a dead baby dolphin while kite surfing about a month ago believed it was linked to the poor conditions in the area.

RESIDENTS have expressed concerns about sewage smells 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 also expressed disgust at the state of the beaches.

“Algal Blooms, dead dolphin calves, dead fish, dead jelly fish and dead birds,” he said.

“Problems with the Point Peron waste treatment and the outflow and the government classifying swimming or taking of fish from the area a no go.

“As a long time resident I am disgusted with the current handling and management of this area.”

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.

Deb Crane took this photo at Safety Bay Beach on Wednesday, April 18.

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 advices issued by the Water Corporation for an area off Cape Peron on March 23 are 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.

It was issued due to a decline in the quality of treated wastewater leaving the plant due to the major upgrade.

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.”

He said the treatments also covered the effects of potential illicit drugs contamination of wastewater such as methamphetamine.

Mayor Barry Sammels said the City would continue to monitor the situation through its health department.

“From November to May each year the City undertakes routine ocean water sampling of all of the beaches on a fortnightly basis,” he said.

“The City has been taking additional samples during the algal bloom to monitor the water quality.”

He said the testing is done independently with results available at each monthly council meeting bulletins.

“The City submits the samples to PathWest for analysis,” he said.

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