Full description The Derwent Estuary Recreational Water Quality monitoring program is a joint monitoring initiative between the Derwent Estuary Program (DEP), six Councils (Brighton, Clarence, Derwent Valley, Glenorchy, Hobart and Kingborough), the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services, and the EPA Division (Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment). The program commenced in 1987. Up to 40 sites have been monitored around the Derwent estuary. These sites are categorised as either swimming sites or environmental sites. Swimming sites are designated beaches and other sites where significant number of people swim or engage in primary contact activities on a regular basis. These site are part of the Beach Watch monitoring program. Environmental sites include bays, coves and other environmental sites that provide an overall picture of water quality in the Derwent estuary. These sites are part of the Bay Watch monitoring program and include:
• Bays and coves that are frequently used for water based activities and/or have foreshore parks.
• Areas with potentially significant sewage, stormwater or other pathogens sources;
• Several clean sites in the upper and middle estuary to provide context;
• Sites associated with major swimming events.
Water samples are collected weekly during the months of December through to March. Public health glass bacterial sample bottles are used to collect water samples. These samples are analysed for the faecal indicator bacteria Enterococci at the Public health Laboratory using the Enteralert method which provides 24hour confirmed results. A complete description of the program is available in the "State of the Derwent Estuary 2009" report as well as on the DEP website (links below).