Environment

Eurobodalla Council warns of some smelly days ahead

By Ian Campbell 7 November 2018
Wimbie Creek flows out on on to Wimbie Beach, just south of Batemans Bay. Photo: Google Maps.

Wimbie Creek flows out on to Wimbie Beach, just south of Batemans Bay. Photo: Google Maps.

Eurobodalla locals are being warned to prepare for a summer of stinky creeks and waterways.

This week’s sprinkle of rain has taken some of the pong out of a number of local creeks and lagoons but with a long dry summer forecast on the back of prolonged dry conditions, the rotten smells will return with the right conditions.

Prior to this week’s rain, Eurobodalla Shire Council had received complaints about Wimbie Creek and Joe’s Creek in the Batemans Bay area.

“It is an issue generally worse throughout the warmer months due to a natural process that occurs at least annually,” a Council spokesperson says.

“These small creeks and lagoons experience a high level of nutrients and other organic pollutants from stormwater inflows and at times kelp that is washed in by heavy seas.

“When the waterways don’t have the aerobic conditions (oxygen) needed to process the added nutrients, chemical reactions produced by bacteria can generate the smelly hydrogen sulphide or ‘rotten egg’ gas,” the spokesperson says.

While the smell is a nuisance, Council says health problems are unlikely but warns of more smelly days ahead as temperatures rise and water flows recede.

“It is entirely natural and temporary, and one of the few downsides of living in close proximity to our beautiful waterways.”

Council says it will continue to monitor and test any areas of concern.

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