19 January 2024

Swimming restrictions in place for ACT rivers following recent storms

| Claire Fenwicke
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Cotter River, showing trees on the bank, clear water and reflections trees and the sky in the water.

Recent heavy rainfall has increased bacteria levels in several of the ACT’s rivers. Photo: Marg Wade.

Elevated bacteria levels in parts of the Murrumbidgee, Cotter, Molonglo and Paddy’s rivers have resulted in their closure until further notice.

Recent heavy rainfall is to blame, with extra run-off resulting in water quality below levels that are suitable for swimming.

Canberrans are advised the following swimming spots are closed:

  • Casuarina Sands
  • Uriarra East and West
  • Swamp Creek
  • Pine Island
  • Kambah Pool
  • Point Hut Crossing
  • Tharwa Bridge
  • Murrays Corner
  • Cotter Campground
  • Molonglo River boat ramp.

These areas will remain open for all land-based activities, such as walking and picnicking.

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An Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate statement advised people looking to cool off should visit one of Canberra’s public pools or aquatic centres instead.

“With high temperatures predicted over the coming days, the ACT Government is urging the community to avoid swimming in [the closed] areas for their own safety,” it stated.

“Closures will remain in place until further testing can be completed to show that water quality has returned to safe levels.

“Water quality testing is conducted every week and notified on the ACT City Services website. If you are planning to swim in the ACT, always check the website first.”

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