Archaic system results in pollution, says ACF branch
The stormwater system on the Peninsula is archaic and it is not surprising that pollution is found at outfalls on local beaches, according to the Central Coast branch of the Australian Conservation Foundation.
The comments came after a visitor to the area photographed an oil-like substance flowing onto Ettalong Beach from a storm water drain east of Bangalow St.
Branch president Mr Mark Ellis said the stormwater system flowed directly into Brisbane Water and onto the beaches such as Ettalong and Umina and Terrigal.
It was an ongoing issue of pollution coming directly off the streets, he said.
The visitor told Peninsula News the foul matter smelt like oil but didn't float like oil.
He said it was hard to tell there had been pollution about three hours after he first spotted the flow. It had dissipated in the water.
Mr Ellis said the branch had previously raised the issue with this council and the previous Gosford and Wyong councils.
The branch had suggested storm water should be harvested to stop pollution flowing directly into the waterways but had been told it was too expensive.
Mr Ellis said storm water was free water that simply needed to be repumped into the system but the council had said it was too expensive because they would have to take the pollutants out of it.
He said that, whether or not the water was reused, the council had a responsibility to remove pollutants from stormwater to protect the environment.
Every day of the week the NSW department of Environment sends out an email forecasting beach pollution at the Coast's 29 beaches.
It warns against swimming at some beaches after rain because of the presence of several potential sources of fecal contamination.
These beaches include Pearl Beach, Umina Beach and Ocean Beach.
The website says swimming at beaches should be avoided for up to one day after heavy rain or for as long as storm water is present.
Interview (Merilyn Vale), 17 Jul 2019
Mark Ellis, ACF CC branch
Email, 17 Jul 2019
Beach Watch NSW, Dept of Environment