This page provides information about how we monitor water quality in our natural waterways, constructed lakes and recreational swimming spots.
We monitor natural lakes, wetlands, rivers and public swimming pools in the City of Melville to ensure they are safe and clean for our wildlife and community. Our environmental heath team monitors recreational waters and public swimming pools, to make sure they are safe for swimming, and our natural areas team monitor water quality in natural lakes and wetlands.
Our environmental health team conducts a water quality monitoring program weekly or fortnightly from mid November until the end of April each year. We sample six popular recreational locations along the Swan River:
- Bicton Baths
- Cunningham St Applecross
- Point Walter (at the kiosk)
- Point Water (at the boat ramp)
- Waylen Bay (by the scout hall)
- Deep Water Point (near the jetty)
During each site visit a bacteriological water sample is taken from knee high water and sent away for analysis. Our sites are graded by the Department of Health based on the information collected during the current season and previous years. All six of our sites are classified as ‘Good – Usually Safe for Swimming.’
If a sampling finds bacterial levels are above the safety trigger limit, then we will erect signs advising against using the water body until further notice. We recommend you avoid swimming after heavy rainfall.
Each month our environmental health officers take water samples from all public swimming facilities within the City, in accordance with the Health (Aquatic Facilities) Regulations 2007 (WA).
During a sampling visit we check the chemical and physical water quality and also collect microbiological samples for analysis. Microbiological sampling is carried out to detect any bacteria or amoeba within the water which can grow to dangerous numbers in water that is not correctly maintained and disinfected. Aquatic facilities are also audited each year to ensure compliance with the requirements of the code and the regulations.
Our environmental health team regularly complete audits on businesses to ensure they have adequate water management plans and do not contribute to polluting our water ways. These businesses include:
- Car repair businesses
- Business selling or manufacturing chemicals or pesticides
- Concrete or stone products
- Engineering or manufacturers
- Printing or photographic business
- Businesses using plastic or fibreglass in manufacture
Our natural areas team monitor all of our wetlands and lakes linked to the Bull Creek Catchment and the Swan River.
We do regular water quality audits and produce a water quality report each year:
Recommendations from the monitoring program are implemented each year in the form of restoration around lakes, changes to drainage and environmental education around these water areas.
We have a Water Quality Improvement Plan which was developed for the Bull Creek Catchment in partnership with the Swan River Trust, Water Corporation and South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare.
Scheme Water Quality Testing
The City does not test scheme water. Please contact the Water Corporation for any queries relating to scheme water.
About Water Quality
Stormwater drains are City infrastructure designed to drain rainwater on roads, reserves or public areas. Everything that enters stormwater drains ends up in our rivers, lakes, estuaries and the ocean through our drainage network. Pollutants in stormwater are having a disastrous impact on all aquatic life, not only harming fish, plants and wildlife, but reducing water quality for humans.
Ground water is the aquifer or natural water table and is found in most wetlands. It is a key component of Perth’s water supply used to irrigate gardens, so any pollution in the ground water will have an impact on us at home.
Impacts of Poor Water Quality
- Poor water quality can have a number of impacts, including:
- Birds and fish can become entangled in rubbish
- Increase in weeds due to high nutrients in the water
- Algal blooms can result from a build-up in nutrients found in animal waste and in chemical products used by households and businesses
- Oil slicks can occur when oils are poured down drains or wash from the streets into the gutter
- Bacteria building up in stagnant water causing botulism in water birds
- Increase in mosquitos breeding
How You Can Help Improve Water Quality
There are a number of things you can do to keep our water clean:
- Bin your rubbish securely
- Don't feed bread to waterbirds
- Sweep up grass clippings, leaves, sand and other material and put in a bin or compost
- Don't tip paint, thinners, flea rinses, herbicides, pesticides, oils or other chemicals down the drain
- Pick up your dogs waste and put it in a bin or worm farm. It’s full of nutrients that can feed algal blooms
- Keep garden weeds away from drains. They may end up in rivers or wetlands as invasive weeds
- Wash your car on the lawn to keep detergents out of the storm water drainage system
- Be Fertilise Wise and use the right fertiliser at the right time.
- Backwash your pools into a soak well, not into a roadside drain
- Plant native plants that do not drop leaves that can end up getting into stormwater drains and increasing nutrient levels
- Get involved with your local catchment or Environmental Friends Group to help revegetate our local waterways. Native sedges and rushes planted around wetlands and rivers can help to take up excess pollution from the water and help filter the water.
If you have concerns about water quality in the City of Melville, please contact us.