Creek pollution at ‘acceptable’ level, but be wary: council
A POPULAR Mid North Coast creek that was found to be polluted following a sewage spill has been deemed 'acceptable' for recreational use once again.
Deep Creek, located between Hyland Park and Valla Beach, was closed in early April after Nambucca Shire Council staff detected the pollution from a comparison of pump running times either side of the estuary.
The disparity then led to a survey of the pressure sewage pipe and ultimately to fluorescein testing of the submarine sections of the pipe.
This testing identified that the leak originated from the section of the pipe on the creek floor.
Over the Easter school holidays council staff and contractors worked to repair the leak in the sewage pipe which runs across the bed of the creek between the Valla Beach Resort and Hyland Park.
The leak was repaired but faecal coliforms in the water body - an indicator of sewage pollution - remained high for an extended period.
Ongoing water testing has since indicated that faecal coliforms are now within acceptable limits.
However, the council is reminding the public that the estuary is an ICOLL (intermittent closing/opening lake/lagoon) and that water quality can be variable depending on factors such as rainfall events and whether or not the creek is open to the ocean.
In a statement, the council noted that the catchment for the creek does contain potential sources of contaminants including urban run-off, on-site sewage management systems and agricultural run-off.
"Whilst the council has programs in place to minimise the risk of contamination it is impossible to declare that the estuary will always have water quality parameters that meet the standards for recreational use.
"So the public need to be mindful of these risks in their use of the Deep Creek ICOLL."