Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) provides update on Hawkesbury River water quality after flood

Flood-affected banks of the Hawkesbury River at North Richmond on March 30. Picture: Geoff Jones
Flood-affected banks of the Hawkesbury River at North Richmond on March 30. Picture: Geoff Jones

Water quality in the Hawkesbury River is improving after the recent floods, but local communities are encouraged to remain patient and not enter the water, particularly with a large amount of debris still present.

Clean up of flood debris in the river and on the banks is underway to restore the health of the Hawkesbury River but hazards are still present including partly submerged branches, building materials, chemical drums, large hay bales and agricultural materials, warns the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

The NSW Government sampled river water quality at six sites - Windsor Beach, Riverside Oaks, Sackville, Lower Portland, Wisemans Ferry and Macdonald River - on April 7 and April 16.

Tests covered the saltiness of the water, presence of algae, bacterial contamination and potential chemical contamination.

The EPA said the test results on both occasions at these six sites indicated the water was suitable for stock to drink based on bacterial criteria.

For advice on the suitability of using water from the Hawkesbury River for agricultural services, the EPA advised residents should contact Local Land Services at bit.ly/3n7krvc Hawkesbury is part of Greater Sydney Local Land Services.

Members of the community can assist the clean-up of the Hawkesbury River by reporting flood debris to the Environment Line on 131 555 or info@epa.nsw.gov.au.