Rating the Valley?s cleanest swimming spots

YAMBA, Minnie Water and Wooli boast the Clarence Valley's cleanest beaches according to tests carried out by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Whiting Beach, Kolora Lake, Minnie Water Main Beach, and Wooli Estuary North and South were the Valley's cleanest coastal swimming sites for January and February.

Swimming sites throughout the Valley received a good report card, with most locations passing the NHMRC swimming water quality guidelines.

Clarence Valley Council, in conjunction with the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation's Beachwatch Program, revealed the test results yesterday.

Monitoring was also undertaken at six inland swimming locations on the Clarence River at Iluka Bay, Ulmarra Jetty Maclean Jetty, Corcoran Park, Grafton Sailing Club and Prince Street.

These sites were not as clean as the coastal swimming areas, with only the Maclean Jetty and Iluka Bay passing the guidelines.

"Elevated levels of enterococci were measured at inland swimming locations," Beachwatch manager Cris Hickey said.

"However, given how much rainfall was received during January and February, these results could be expected."

Council's sustainable environ- ment manager Peter Birch said monitoring was being conducted by council to provide the community and visitors with information on water quality at popular swimming sites.

"We have been monitoring our swimming areas for several years now, and the results highlight what a clean environment we have," Mr Birch said.

"During dry weather our beaches and waterways have fantastic water quality.

"People should avoid swimming at river and estuarine beaches for at least several days after rainfall."

Mr Birch said picking up pet droppings and properly disposing of litter helped keep water- ways clean.

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