Five of Sydney's 96 beaches fail the water quality test

Sydney’s famous beaches - 96 in all – have received a major boost in the latest State of the Beaches report on water quality, but Foreshores Beach was one of five popular spots still graded as either poor or very poor.

Bondi beach received an upwards rating its water quality in the State Of The Beaches 2014-15 report

Bondi Beach received an upwards rating its water quality in the State Of The Beaches 2014-15 report Image by Guillaume Capron / CC BY-SA 2.0

The well-known Botany Bay beach – which faces Sydney’s third runway - has been described in the latest examination as the city’s most polluted spot for the fourth year in a row.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports also that weekend family hotspots like Bilarong Reserve in Pittwatter and Davidson Reserve in Garigal National Park were also consigned to the ‘poor’ grading area of the report while the Boat Harbour on the Kurnell Penisula also failed the pollution tests.

However the 2014-15 study stresses that overall water quality of the beaches in Sydney has improved with 94% of the swimming areas on the northern beaches in the top bracket.

Sydney - still has five beaches rated 'poor' in the latest water quality survey

Sydney - still has five beaches rated 'poor' in the latest water quality survey Image by Brian / CC BY 2.0

From Bondi to Sydney Harbour, in central Sydney, 86% of swimming sites hit the upper grades – a major increase from the 2011 figure of 70%.

The best ranked were, Maroubra Beach, Clovelly Beach and Nielsen Park. The report commended these three as having excellent quality water at all times during the year.

Australian Environment Minister Mark Speakman said the report proved that the beaches were among the cleanest in Australia.

However, the Office of Environment and Heritage highlighted the problems from human and animal faecal contamination stressing that they posed major health problems to swimmers.

The dirtiest beaches according to the report were Foreshores Beach, Bayview Baths, Bilarong Reserve, Boat Harbour, Davidson Reserve and Tambourine Bay.

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