The City of Greater Geraldton has issued a warning to stay out of river water at Ellendale Pool and at the mouth of the Greenough River due to the possible contamination of the water from recent rain.
A water sample taken from the Ellendale Pool last week, indicates a potentially large amount of faecal contamination, including Enterococci and Amoeba.
More sampling will be undertaken at Ellendale Pool and the Greenough River mouth in coming days to monitor the levels. The public is urged to stay out of the water until further notice to avoid the potential risk of infection from the water.
More information can be found on the WA Public Health website www.publichealth.wa.gov.au.
After heavy rainfall (>10mm) rain collects pollutants from our streets, gardens and farms, before it flushes into our ocean and rivers via the storm water systems. This can increase bacterial levels in the water and make the water unsafe for swimming, especially if you put your head under or swallow the water. Other general health risks of swimming in these natural waters can include infection by protozoa such as amoeba. This type of infection can lead to illnesses such as amoebic meningitis, a life-threatening disease. This type of organism generally occurs in warm water. Permanent health warning signs exist at sites along the Chapman and Greenough River’s warning of this risk.