Validation of a risk assessment form for recreational water bodies

Bree Abbott

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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Abstract

Pollution of recreational water bodies can pose a significant public health risk. Accurate determination of pollution sources usually requires completion of a sanitary inspection. Therefore, there is a need to develop a practical, semi-quantitative, comprehensive annual risk assessment form to assign sanitary inspection categories to recreational water bodies in accordance with the requirements of National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Waters. Currently there is no suitable form prescribed or available that enables the documentation of a sanitary inspection to meet the requirements of the national guidelines. A sanitary inspection is designed to identify faecal pollution sources that could impact on recreational water quality, and is used to underpin the application of microbiological criteria. Based on the results of the sanitary inspections, recreational waters are ranked (from very low to very high) depending on the perceived public health risk and level of uncertainty. For the purposes of this Master’s thesis, a validated reporting form has been designed and trialed at a variety of Australian recreational water bodies, including marine and estuarine waters. The form incorporates risk management principles of AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 (Standards Association of Australia 2009) by assessing the likelihood and consequence of pollution occurring from characteristic pollution sources. These include wastewater treatment plants, stormwater drains, on-site wastewater systems, riverine discharge, animals, boating, and agricultural activities.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMasters
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011

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