Merimbula Lake safe for swimming, fishing still banned

Bega Valley Shire Council said it was undertaking mandatory testing of the water in Merimbula Lake following the sewage leak on Monday.

“Council staff undertook water quality testing yesterday and are satisfied the lake is safe for recreational activities, however the mandated 21-day fishing closure remains in place,” a communications spokesperson said.

Acting manager of health, buildings and compliance, Jonathon Pyke, said water sample results demonstrated it was safe for people to use the lake for swimming, boating, kayaking and other similar activities. 

“The water was tested for enterococcus bacteria at four sites both upstream and downstream from where the leak entered the lake,” Mr Pyke said.

“The results now indicate less than 200 coliforms per 100mls of water, with many samples indicating no coliforms at all.

“The safe level is mandated at 200 coliforms, so the water quality is well within the required limits.”

Further testing will continue throughout the remainder of the 21-day fishing closure to monitor any changes to water quality.

Despite the fishing closure, Merimbula News Weekly has spotted recreational fishers in Merimbula Lake during the fishing closure, while signs have not been erected at major boat ramps informing fishers of the ban.

Council has implored residents to report water and sewerage infrastructure concerns by calling 6499 2222.