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.

Algal Blooms (Marine and freshwater) 


131 555

Fish Kills EPA


131 555

Stormwater drains and channels 

Sydney Water



13 20 90

(02) 4221 6111

132 090 (24 hours)

Discharge from Vessels

EPA NSW Maritime

131 256


Lake Illawarra

Lake Illawarra is a highly valued natural resource within the Illawarra region, and is extremely important from an ecological, social, economic and cultural perspective. We manage Lake Illawarra in partnership with Wollongong City Council and the NSW Government. Care of Lake Illawarra is guided by a Coastal Management Program, or CMP. The Lake Illawarra CMP provides a long-term strategy for the coordinated management of the Lake, and includes a set of actions to reduce threats to the Lake. You can view a snapshot of the plan here and view the full CMP 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 Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Dams and Detention Basins

Dams in NSW are independently regulated by Dams Safety NSW, which provides compliance requirements and guidelines for dam owners. Council owns and/or manages the following dams and detention basins that are declared dams by Dams Safety NSW (click on the links to view the Dams Safety NSW Annual Safety Standards Reports).

Please note: Green Meadows Detention Basin was temporarily transferred to Transport for NSW as part of the Albion Park Rail Bypass project. Following completion of the Bypass works an application has been made to Dams Safety NSW to have the basin de-prescribed.
Blackbutt Dam was de-prescribed as a declared dam in 2022 and no longer falls under the regulation of Dams Safety NSW.

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Lake Illawarra

Find out more about our joint management of Lake Illawarra with Wollongong City Council.
Last updated : Fri 31 May 2024