A “fatberg” in the sewerage pipes along Beatty Street in Balgowlah has been blamed for an overflow that has led to the closure – or rather precautionary advice not to swim – at Balgowlah’s Forty Baskets Beach.
The overflow originally also affected Fairlight Beach, but this area has now been cleared for use.
A Sydney Water spokesperson said a blockage in the wastewater network on Beatty Street Balgowlah occurred on Friday, November 20.
“This was due to a due to a build-up of fats, oils and grease,” she said.
While little bits of oil in the pan might seem harmless to clean in the sink, the fat eventually sticks together, along with other non-flushable items like tissues, wet wipes and paper towels, to form a “Fatberg”, which eventually completely blocks the passage of water and sewerage.
“Sydney Water was notified of the incident and crews attended shortly after. Sydney Water takes its responsibility to protect public health and the environment seriously. We contained and stopped the overflow and completed a full clean-up of the area,” the spokeswoman told Manly Observer this afternoon.
“Signs at Forty Baskets Beach were set up as a precaution and have been removed from the baths area. Signs at other parts of Forty Baskets Beach will remain in place while Sydney Water awaits the results of further water sampling to confirm the water is clean.”
It can take anywhere from two to six weeks for the area to be cleared for swimming again. As soon as the signs are removed it should be safe for use again.