Recreational fishing and food safety
Fish caught during flood periods should be rinsed prior to scaling and filleting. Fish should be cooked thoroughly and people should avoid cross contamination between raw and cooked fish.
'Ready to eat' seafood, including oysters, must not be harvested from flood-affected areas, as these products are not cooked prior to consumption. Recreational harvesters are advised to contact the NSW Food Authority to determine whether an estuary is open for commercial harvest.
Sports fields that have been inundated with floodwaters should generally be safe to use one week after the water has receded. Please contact your local council for re-opening dates of sports fields.
Swimming and water sports
Never swim in floodwaters. Unpredictable currents and submerged hazards are very dangerous. The water may also be contaminated with sewage or chemicals. This contamination may continue for some time and affect recreational waters. If you are uncertain about the quality of water, contact the local council.
Office of Environment and Heritage recommends that you do not swim in oceans for 24 hours after heavy rain. Avoid rivers, lagoons or estuaries affected by floodwaters and runoff for three days.
Avoid swimming near stormwater drains and sewage outfalls.
Avoid swimming if you see signs of pollution such as discoloured water, oil or scum on the water, and litter or other debris floating in the water or on the tide line.
OEM provides information about the water quality at selected beaches through its Beachwatch program.