Holiday makers travelling to flood affected communities during the Easter break are warned to be careful around beaches and rivers with many waterways across the state potentially contaminated.
NSW Environment Protection Authority regulatory operations director Steve Beaman said heavy rain and flood waters have washed contaminants into waterways.
“The EPA recommends that water from waterways in flood-impacted areas is not consumed or used for any recreational or agricultural purpose,” Mr Beaman said.
Areas around the Wilsons and Richmond rivers were hit hard by recent extreme weather and floods.
“Swimming in waters affected by flood or stormwater can expose swimmers to dangers, and polluted waters can make you sick.
“The community should be cautious around waterways as chemicals, hazardous materials and other unidentified items may also be present and should not be handled.
Submerged hazards and debris was a rick for boaters and swimmers, Mr Beaman said.
“The EPA is in the process of removing debris from our waterways to support recovery, with shoreline clean-up programs taking place across the state,” he said.
If you’re unsure about the safety of swimming at your local beach or swimming spot, speak to the lifeguards on duty or give the local council a call.
If you encounter any significant pollution or debris in the water, contact Environment Line on 131 555 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If an immediate response is required (imminent risk to the community or the environment) call FRNSW on triple zero for a HAZMAT response.