Bay areas found unsafe for swimming
Three areas in Hardy's Bay have been identified as unsafe for swimming after water was tested by the Hardy's Bay Residents' Group.
The testing was carried out following complaints from residents about a "sewerage aroma", according to the group's publicity officer Mr Allan Wilson.
"Mudflat Creek, RSL Creek and the area near the drain opposite 36 Araluen Dr are definitely unsafe areas," he said.
"Mudflat Creek and RSL Creek appear to be badly affected by bacteria and other organisms that are harmful to human, wildlife and even plant health.
"This seems to be irrespective of whether or not it has been raining.
"The area near the drain opposite 36 Araluen Dr, appears to be reasonably safe when there has been no rain but is considered quite the opposite when rain has been falling."
Mr Wilson said that it was too early to fully interpret the test results and that testing was continuing "to get a clearer indication of water issues".
"In the meantime, adults should ensure that children in their care do not play in the three areas."
The first of the series of tests was undertaken on October 20, followed more extensive investigations on October 29 and again on November 5.
They are expected to continue weekly over the holiday period.
Sites that were tested included the end of the main jetty near the marina and at the end of the Araluen jetty, sites where children regularly swim.
"The water quality at the ends of both jetties appears to be quite safe for swimming," said Mr Wilson.
The testing program involved the gathering of water samples from the five sites as well as taking the temperature of the water.
A water testing kit was obtained from NSW Waterwatch and several volunteers from the Residents Group were trained in its use.
For the tests, a sample of the water taken from each location was drawn into a syringe and placed on a sterile petrafilm slide supplied by NSW Waterwatch, said Mr Wilson.
He said results were obtained after placing samples in an incubator, adding chemicals and measuring the electrical conductivity of the water.