Australia's pristine beaches have a poo problem

phys.org | 3/13/2018 | Staff
darktm22darktm22 (Posted by) Level 4
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Australians love our iconic coastal lifestyle. So many of our settlements are spread along our huge coastline. Real estate prices soar where we can catch a view of the water.

But where there are crowded communities, there is sewage. And along the coast it brings a suite of problems associated with managing waste, keeping the marine environment healthy, and keeping recreational swimmers safe.

Sewage - Topic - People - Sight - Mind

Sewage is not a sexy topic. People often have an "out of sight, out of mind" attitude. But where does sewage go, and is it treated and disposed of in the waters that we Australians love?

The bigger the coastal community, the bigger the volume of sewage. Disposal of human waste into the ocean might solve one problem, but we now realise that the "waste" is as precious as the ocean it pollutes.

Problems - Coastline - Community - Issue - Arises

Such problems play out continuously along our coastline. Each isolated community and catchment issue arises and is resolved, often in ignorance of and isolation from similar issues somewhere else.

At present, places where sewage impacts are generating community concern include Merimbula, Warrnambool and, perhaps most bizarrely, Vaucluse and Diamond Bay in Sydney's affluent eastern suburbs.

Location - Sewage - People - Tasman - Sea

It's hard to believe this location has raw and untreated sewage from 3,500 people discharged directly into the Tasman Sea. Sydney Water pledged in 2018 to fix this unsightly pollution by transferring the flow to the nearby Bondi sewage treatment plant.

Community group Clean Ocean Foundation has worked with the Marine Biodiversity Hub to start the process of viewing outfall pollution—where a drain or sewer empties into the sea—as part of a bigger picture. It's a first step towards understanding from a national perspective.

National - Outfall - Database - Australia-wide - Comparison

Together they have produced the National Outfall Database to provide the first Australia-wide comparison.

Previously the information available to the public was sketchy and often not easily accessed. The database shows how differently Australia...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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