Don’t drink the water:visitors and La Nina combine to overwhelm holiday town treatment plant

An influx of holidaymakers and heavy rainfall have combined to make the water in far South Coast holiday destination Bermagui undrinkable.

Visitors have put stress on the popular town’s water treatment plant,with recent significant rain tipping it over the edge.

Visitors and La Nina have combined to make the water in holiday hotspot Bermagui undrinkable.

Visitors and La Nina have combined to make the water in holiday hotspot Bermagui undrinkable.

“Our water treatment team have been working around the clock since heavy rain fell on the catchment last Thursday,” Bega Valley Shire Council’s Water and Sewerage Services Manager Chris Best said last week.

“However,with more visitors in the area over the summer break,it has reached the point where the treatment plant can no longer cope with the higher demand.

“We have previously avoided boil water notices by carting water from our southern supply,however given the increase in usage at this time of year this is currently not possible.

“Our water team will continue with a regular program of testing water from the Brogo River source,which is known for high turbidity levels,particularly following the Black Summer bushfires which heavily impacted the catchment.”

Turbidity refers to the murkiness of the water.

As well as Bermagui,other towns including Quaama,Cobargo,Beauty Point,Fairhaven,Wallaga Lake,Wallaga Lake Heights,Wallaga Lake Koori Village and Akolele are affected.

Emma Falkland,on holidays in Bermagui with her husband and daughter from Warriewood on the northern beaches,said Bermagui was quieter than usual.

“Needing to boil the water could have put some people off coming,” she said.

Sally Rawsthorne is a Crime Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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