Umina lagoon will be studied
Gosford Council's Environmental Health and Protection Section is planning a catchment audit of Umina Lagoon, according to council's acting director of environment and planning.
The director stated in a recent report that a final-year university student studying Environment Science would undertake the audit, with professional guidance provided by Environmental Health and Protection staff.
The director stated the audit will include historical data analysis, water quality sampling and analysis and site assessments to identify potential pollution sources.
It was reported that a report would be prepared and recommendations made "in respect of any issues identified".
"The catchment audit is planned to commence in May and be finalised by September," the report from April 26 stated.
"It is anticipated that all recommendations (if any) will be investigated and actions put in place prior to next year's Beachwatch program, which commences in October."
Cr Terri Latella had brought the water quality of the lagoon to council's attention on April 3.
"How can we improve the water quality at Umina Lagoon given the recent water sampling that has rated the water quality as 'poor'?" Cr Latella stated.
The acting director stated that the sampling site was a protected, shallow sandy area located near the opening of Ettalong Creek at the southern end of Umina Beach in Broken Bay.
The acting director claimed that the lagoon was "not particularly popular" with swimmers however had been known to be used by families when conditions at nearby Umina Beach were rough.
The lagoon, which is adjacent to a caravan park and recreation reserve popular with families, is intermittently open to the bay.
The report stated although much of the foreshore in the area was recreation reserve, the catchment contained urban development.
"Ettalong Creek drains into the lagoon and may carry pollution from urban runoff during rainfall," the report stated.
"Levels of faecal coliform have been present for most of the 2006-2007 Beachwatch sampling program.
"It is unclear at present if the principal cause of non-compliance is the natural processes from the recreation reserve or from urban runoff during rainfall.
"Signage has been erected throughout the 2006-2007 Beachwatch sampling program recommending 'no swimming' due to the results obtained."
Council agenda COR.59, 24 Jul 2007