Salmonella detected at Safety Bay foreshore

Pierra WillixSound Telegraph
The Pond on the Safety Bay foreshore.
Camera IconThe Pond on the Safety Bay foreshore.

One water sample taken from a beach popular with swimmers, kite surfers and recreational fishers has returned a positive result for salmonella.

Following calls from the community for action on the condition of water along the Safety Bay foreshore and the area known as the Pond, the City of Rockingham agreed to take samples to test water quality after reports of rotting seaweed and wildlife being found dead.

More than a month after this meeting, two samples of water were taken on November 26.

The sample taken from the Bent Street jetty returned a positive detection for salmonella when the results came back three weeks later.

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The City collected more samples last week, but when results came back three days later, salmonella was not detected.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said the area did not need to be closed as “the most recent sampling shows zero contamination of the water”.

“At this stage the department is not aware of any risks associated with swimming in this area,” she said.

However Clean up Our Coast community group member Tom Mannion said he was “concerned” the City had not taken action to warn beach users of the salmonella result after the positive test result.

“There has been one test showing a salmonella detection and one that didn’t, but with that first test, people had been exposed to it in the days and weeks leading up to the reading,” he said.

“I am concerned the City hasn’t alerted the public, or even said they will be looking into investigating the cause of how salmonella could be in this water.”

The City said that if a second detection of salmonella had been received, the affected beach would have been closed, but the second result did not require this action.

Mayor Barry Sammels said the result from last week’s test “along with the good results for Enterococci, E. coli and algae, confirm to us that the Pond was safe for swimming and recreation.

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