Shoalhaven warning: stay out of the water

RESIDENTS and visitors are being urged not to swim in the ocean, rivers, creeks and estuaries for at least three days after the current spate of heavy rain ends and to avoid contact with storm water.

Parts of the Shoalhaven have been inundated with significant storm water overflow and flash flooding over the past 48 hours after the area received heavy rainfall as a result of a recent low weather system.

Council’s environmental services manager Kelie Lowe said it was important for local residents to be aware as to the health risks posed by storm run-off and floodwater.

She said residents should avoid swimming in the ocean, rivers, creeks and estuaries for at least three days after the rain has ceased or until the signs of pollution such as discoloured water, litter or other floating debris have cleared.

“It is extremely important that local residents do not swim or play in stormwater, floodwater or potentially polluted waterways given the associated risks,” Ms Lowe said.

“Council is aware of a number of low lying septic tanks and other sewerage infrastructures throughout the City that have been inundated with storm water and floodwater as a result of the recent heavy rain.

“While residents may be aware of the obvious physical dangers floodwater can present, people may not be aware that by contacting floodwaters you may inadvertently be exposing yourself to diluted sewage, bacteria or other pollutants that may be present.

“Swimming in contaminated water may cause illness, including ear infections, eye infections, fever and diarrhoea.”

Residents are reminded to drive safely on the roads, adapt to weather conditions and to not drive or wade through water over roads or flood waters.

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