The public has been warned to stay out of some southeast Queensland waterways containing high levels of sewage contamination from floodwaters. Moreton Bay itself has avoided major sewage contamination says the Queensland Government.
Queensland’s Environment Minister Kate Jones said the latest results returned only low levels of enterococci in the bay. This bacteria resides in the intestines of humans and animals. She explained that this means that there is no any sewage contamination from floodwaters earlier this month had been diluted well before reaching the bay.
However, test results at Cabbage Tree Creek, near Sandgate, have shown elevated levels of enterococci. Queensland Health is advising people to continue to avoid going into all rivers and creeks in Brisbane as well as Moreton Bay while testing is ongoing. Warnings are also issued to avoid entering the water in Shorncliffe and Nudgee beach.
Enterococci levels up to 250 times higher than normal were detected in Oxley Creek in the city’s west after a nearby sewage treatment plant was damaged in the disastrous flooding of January 12-13. Fisheries Minister Tim Mulherin urged anglers to be cautious about taking catches from flood-affected areas.
There is also examination to rule out other contaminants like metals, fuels and pesticides in the bay and other waterways. Queensland Health’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young urged everyone to exercise caution. “The floods have washed a lot of contaminants into our waterways and it is still not safe to enter these waters,” she said.