Water quality

For the latest on recreational water quality monitoring for Lake Illawarra, Warilla Beach and North Shellharbour Beach visit NSW Beachwatch.

We conduct regular water quality monitoring in local waterways. If you have a concern about water quality, please contact us on 4221 6111.

If you spot a fish kill (mass unexpected fish die off), please contact the Illawarra Department of Primary Industries Fisheries Officer on 4220 8499.

Lake Illawarra

Lake Illawarra is a key natural feature of Shellharbour. We have worked with Wollongong City Council and other stakeholders to develop a Coastal Management Program (CMP) for Lake Illawarra. The draft CMP has been on public exhibition and staff from both Wollongong and Shellharbour City Councils are working with the consultant and the Lake Illawarra Estuary Management Committee to address concerns raised. To view the Draft Lake Illawarra CMP, please see here


In addition to Lake Illawarra, there are 13 bodies of water in our area that are known as wetlands. Natural wetlands in the area can be found at Dunmore, Killalea and Albion Park. Examples of constructed (built) wetlands include Myimbarr, City Pond (Harrison Park) and Flinders Village Green.

For more information about our local wetlands, please contact our Environment team on 4221 6111.


In urban areas, stormwater (rainwater plus anything carried along with it), runs down gutters and drains and is piped directly into local ponds, lakes and rivers. Unlike sewerage, stormwater does not get taken to a treatment plant. Eventually, much of it ends up reaching the ocean.

Moving stormwater picks up any pollutants in its path – including plastic litter, paint, oil, grass clippings, car washing detergents, herbicides and even dog poo. As a general precaution, swimming at beaches in the Illawarra should be avoided for up to one day after heavy rainfall, or for as long as stormwater is present.

To reduce stormwater pollutants entering our waterways, we have installed a number of traps, including gross pollutant traps and trash racks. Ponds and wetlands are also used to improve stormwater quality.

To find out more about how you can play your part in preventing stormwater pollution and keeping our waterways clean, please visit the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

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Last updated : Wed 7 Oct 2020