Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Water

The primary aim of these guidelines is to protect the health of humans from threats posed by the recreational use of coastal, estuarine and fresh waters. Threats may include natural hazards such as surf, rip currents and aquatic organisms, and those with an artificial aspect, such as discharges of wastewater.

These guidelines should be used to ensure that recreational water environments are managed as safely as possible so that as many people as possible can benefit from using the water.

These guidelines are not mandatory; rather, they have been developed as a tool for state and territory governments to develop legislation and standards appropriate for local conditions and circumstances. The aim of the guidelines is to encourage the adoption of a nationally harmonised approach for the management of the quality of coastal, estuarine and fresh waters used for recreation.

The guidelines do not directly address environmental aspects of the recreational use of water, but the environmental impacts of such use should be considered, because a healthy environment has many benefits for human health.

NHMRC has released an addendum to these guidelines. Guidance on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in recreational water has been developed by NHMRC’s Water Quality Advisory Committee and recommended for public release by the Council of NHMRC in March 2019.



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National Health and Medical Research Council : 2008