Statement on Ocean Bath cleanliness

13 Jan 2021

The summer cleaning schedule at Newcastle Ocean Baths and Merewether Ocean Baths, and the cleaning hours for staff at the baths, have not been reduced.

During the past month, a number of factors have contributed to the cleanliness of Newcastle Ocean Baths. The recent wet weather has impacted ocean water quality, which in turn impacts the water quality of the baths.

The already larger summer visitor numbers at Newcastle Ocean Baths increased this week due to shark sightings, which forced the closure of Nobbys and Newcastle Beaches for two consecutive days.

Newcastle Ocean Baths and Merewether Ocean Baths have also been the target of antisocial behaviour including vandalism to the facilities and rubbish and objects thrown into the pool.

Cleaning crews conducted a routine weekly clean at Newcastle Ocean Baths today to ensure that the baths are in the best condition possible ahead of the forecasted high temperatures and low-high tides both today and Thursday.

While City of Newcastle schedules weekly cleaning of Newcastle Ocean Baths and Merewether Ocean Baths, the ability to clean the pool is highly dependent on surf conditions, tidal heights and the weather. The onsite pumps can assist in controlling cleanliness, however they can only operate during mid to high tides and as such are unfortunately not always able to be used.

Additionally, water quality is heavily influenced by the naturally occurring water quality of the ocean and the debris present. During summer, warmer water accelerates algae growth resulting in a build-up on the walls. Although this results in the appearance of an unclean pool, regular testing indicates that the water quality is acceptable for public swimming.

City of Newcastle will continue to investigate and trial options to increase water quality lifecycles, while attempting to minimise pool cleaning shutdowns of the Ocean Baths to achieve a balance between availability and cleanliness.